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A Painter's Attic

It is rather dusty in a painter's attic.

Pale slats stretch powdered with wayward bristles,

fallen from beaten brushes like hurried dreams,

so quick to wriggle from metal seams

and to root in beds of dead peonies.

The linens peak with unknown sub-terrains;

they disdain waking despite the lemon light that pries,

like children's eyes, at the fraying cotton hems.

The air smells of age

and hints of sage, wisdom mixed with dust.

A thick must sets to binding finished years;

the finish wears away from wing-backed chairs

in wedding dresses. A silence presses the rafters to the floor;

the door stoops when the rain is heavy.

It is rather dusty in a painter's attic.


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