The Potomac - Poetry and Politics
December 2006 - THE POTOMAC

   Rosemarie Crisafi

You always cleaned brushes
in the kitchen, backside
to my mother, green footprints

left on linoleum
from the porch just painted.
Rollers, sandpaper, scrapers and screwdrivers

emerged from the pail
a bottomless well
of squinting.

You would never neglect the arsenal
accumulated, turning each tool over
and over-the only one

allowed to touch them
had the gift to labor the stone
or wood or sheetrock.

Hanging from the basement ceiling and walls,
swinging and clanging mobiles;
hammers, files, saws.

Eyes fixed on the work in progress, banging away,
shaping the days of my childhood
and the years of my mother's

-sanded and varnished,
painted in latex,
always in need of repair.

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