Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Old Furnace

The Old Furnace
((on: Albemarle Street) (1997))

When I bought the old house on Albemarle Street—a turn of the century, Victorian style house—the old 1940s style furnace come with it.
The first winter it choked off and on, now and then, throughout the night, this was back in ’97—
You could hear her old ribs rattling from radiator to radiator: hear
It spit and sputter thought-out the rooms of the house!   
Each summer, for nine summers, I’d have her cleaned out,
Like pumping her stomach dry, and refilling her with water,
Getting her copper tubing hotter than a dentist’s drill, and her iron belly hotter than a pistol’s barrow after shooting a hundred rounds…
You could spit on the furnace door, and she’d sizzle—
The rooms would swell with heat, the gas at full blast surging underneath her torso;
And that old furnace man would tell me each summer: “She’ll make it one more winter I think, if you keep up, the upkeep!”
I couldn’t imagine otherwise!

Written 6-2-2014 (No: 4356)