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Maureen Murphy


Mornings, on my way to work, I see a woman
in white coveralls, beside a red mailbox, waiting.

A blue pickup stops for her. The driver wears a paint
spattered cap that shields his eyes. In the back of the truck

Are A-frames and heavy planks of scaffolding. Later,
at my desk, I fill pages with those two. He studies

the job to be done. With three fingers he holds the glowing
butt of a cigarette. Through a thin line of smoke, he eyes

The house, a clean surface yet to be covered. She walks
the planks carrying buckets of paint, negotiates difficult

Balances. He stands, stretches for eaves, soffets, trim board.
Sometimes she kneels, her knee a fulcrum, her arm extending

Her brush into out of the way places. Searching always
For the perfect articulation of brush.


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