Father and Son
by C. Rohrbacher

    They both know the difficulty of painting is prep work.
    And in July's apathy they scrape patches of sky from
    __a house's body
    Pour piles of pale slivers from drop cloths,
    Sweep cloud chips from sidewalks, sand stubborn clumps
    Of paint, erase years the house had endured, the body of
    It satisfied. Their fingers ache,
    Their shadows burn. They caulk and prime
    And sit in the grass to eat cold sandwiches. They smoke
    While the sun glares off their painter's whites.
    And when evening comes deliberate and resigned
    Like a young man approaching his life, they undo
    The day's equipment: fold drop cloths, clean brushes,
    Hide the paint in the shed. This is what a son can share
    With a father: the muscle's simple elegy,
    The litany of coffee, aspirin, water, beer, the slow
    Of truck tires going home.

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