Fresh Coat for an Alabama Farm House


She painted the board and batten walls
cool white with big sweeping strokes
up and down, up and down.

She remembered holding hands
swaying in the swing on the moonlit porch,
back and forth, back and forth.

She painted the floor of the wrap around scuff-proof
bluish grey, hearing remembered footsteps
little and big, little and big, slow and fast.

She climbed the ladder, painting the porch ceiling
haint-blue, the color of water,
that restless spirits can't cross
haint-blue, the color of sky,
to keep away dirt-dobbers and wasps
haint-blue on the window frames
and door frames to keep away evil.
paint away, keep away, paint away, keep away

She always painted the porch, the same colors
as her mother and her grandmother had done
over and over, over and over.


Elizabeth Buttimer, an entrepreneur, a manufacturer and former educator received her BA and MSC from Auburn University and Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Her poems have been published in Haunted Waters Press, Splash, the Halcyone, The Esthetic Apostle, Cathexis Northwest Press, and The Raw Art Review, among others. Her chapbook, Perfect Broken or in Jagged Fragments, has recently been published by Finishing Line Press (2019).

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