artwork: ralph murre
A DAY IN
by James Reiss
The painters began work on the house,
wielding their brushes like wings.
By noon they took off their caps
and blotted their brows with tan rags,
then lit cigarettes by striking wooden
matches on their boots in long slow arcs.
The roof took on the color of the sun
as it broke yolk-like on the weather vane.
They did not see it splatter.
Bronze in their five-o’clock shadows,
they slapped one last gold stroke
and lowered their scaffold and stretched.