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  • The art teacher handed out paint chip samples.
    Fifth graders, she explained,
    from the splotched and well squoze ranks of tempra paint,
    could ask for four colors
    to mix and make a match

    “Would you like to try?” she asked.
    I looked at my jacket,
    grey, and grey creased trousers as well.
    Thought of my schedule.
    “I have to go in to the band classes too,” I said.
    Later, as I listened to beginning brass,
    tutti tah tah, tutti tah tah,
    an early morning thought returned:

    memory’s palette;
    Sunset’s blush,
    hope’s faded denim dream
    the bruised purple of regret,
    longing’s midnight blue
    the bright glow of a sunrise promise
    the black bulk of mountains rising to meet the storm
    the white grace of spiderwebs outlined in dew

    “Tomorrow is Friday,” I thought. “I’ll wear jeans to fifth grade art.”
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