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Workers in Blue

Workers in blue lounge by their truck, slowly eating sandwiches and apples,

each fingernail end a new moon of dirt,

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each bare head sweaty with summer.

Safety helmets laid down gleam

like a clutch of gold eggs.

A small girl in a white dress comes by,

regards them from behind her popsicle,

her face orange with it. She offers a bit

to one man, who takes it carefully,

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clipping it off with his wiped jackknife.

Another man rises slowly, ceremoniously,

places on her head a wreath he has made

of cottonwood leaves pinned together

by their stems. She smiles.

They smile. They salute her with upraised

sandwiches. They choir approval,

watch her, with the eyes of fathers,

diminish down the sidewalk,

hair bouncing under her green crown.

In the silence a summer locust sings

its harsh, passionate song to the heat.

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