Connie Bensley

Painting the Fence

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For the first coat

she started at the house end,

he at the garden gate.

They worked towards each other

meeting fondly in the middle.

For the second coat

they began in the middle

and worked outwards;  he abstracted,

murmuring,  tweaking his phone

with a painty forefinger.

By the shrubbery he put down his brush

and the garden gate groaned, clicked shut.

Now the tin offers her its tedious advice

For a perfect finish, apply a third coat.

The days pass.  The paint hardens.