Joanna Gilman Hyde

"Good Morning, World!"

Tag: house restoration


The Hawk Deck 10:17am

I stood on an August Deck

of The Yarmouth Ferry to Maine

with The Man I was to marry

— this was thirty years ago —

I told Him I was very happy

— He said He was too —

We had Our Nova Scotia Life

spread out before Us:

restoring an enchanting house

having Our First Baby

Our Son Peak

— The Core of My Family Unit —

to have and to hold for five years

until My Mother got sick and died

and I was no longer the same.

This August 31st

I stood again with Them

at The House No Longer Lived In

and They didn’t want Me to leave.

Peak’s Father gave Me

an unsolicited hug

and My Grown Son

looked at Me


wondering if I would stay.


The Hawk Dining Room 1:50pm

Yesterday I went back

to the home of My Children’s

earliest childhood —

it stood with dry grass

recently mowed —

a stone bench I had forgotten

under the apple

where I planted myrtle

slowly spreading —

I found My Red Leather Baseball Mitt


in an upstairs closet

full of toys

and in the hatchway to the attic

I hoisted My Shoe-less Son

now 28

one-footed upon My Clasped Hands —

He was looking for My Early Sketches

of Self Organizing Galaxy

a mysterious tube

of blue-prints displaying the roof of #5 World Trade Center

We failed to find —

as He came down

He pulled the light bulb string

straining to reach it

and when He let go

the slightly-too-short string

sprung back on itself

without the light turning off

and so My Greatest First Love

had to step into My Hands

a second time

He lowered Himself finally

to a painted kitchen chair

flexing His Lumberjack Muscles

— His Right Upper Arm still scarred

from when He toddled

to a cup of too-hot herb tea

unwittingly set within Peak’s easy reach

upon Our old kitchen table

in the little wooded house His Father and I restored

to cherish


The Hawk Deck 7:20 pm


If My Mother worked on a house

does that count for Me?

She rubbed lemon oil into My Father’s Furniture

before the move to McNutt Island

when I was a child–

I did re-paint My Bedroom there

before the arrival of My First Husband

Then He & I pregnant with Our First Born

built The Thoreau House–

the one-room post & beam

We wouldn’t sell for a million dollars

He & I fixed up The Shakespeare House

in Shelburne for My Mother–

She paid us–

& then We bought our own

with no electricity & no plumbing–

I put My Soul into that Atlantic House

if not My Heart

& then My Mother died

& My Days of House-fixing were over.

I had Eliza & an affair

with an adoring doctor–

My Second Husband now–

& The House He & I have on The Hawk

should be My Final Resting Place–

though I feel It may not be

despite all the trim here

I have painted:

Living Room, Dining Room

Family Room, Hallway

Balcony, Stairs

& Corner Room–

and all The Artwork I have hung