The cat calls for her dinner.
On the porch I bend and pour
brown soy stars into her bowl,
stroke her dark fur.
It’s not quite night.
Pinpricks of light in the eastern sky.
Above my neighbor’s roof, a transparent
moon, a pink rag of cloud.
Inside my house are those who love me.
My daughter dusts biscuit dough.
And there’s a man who will lift my hair
in his hands, brush it
until it throws sparks.
Everything is just as I’ve left it.
Dinner simmers on the stove.
Glass bowls wait to be filled
with gold broth. Sprigs of parsley
on the cutting board.
I want to smell this rich soup, the air
around me going dark, as stars press
their simple shapes into the sky.
I want to stay on the back porch
while the world tilts
toward sleep, until what I love
misses me, and calls me in.
~Dorianne Laux “On the Back Porch” from Awake
They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
What each one knows the other knows. They have
One mind between them, now, that finally
For all its knowing will not exactly know
Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding
Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone.
~Wendell Berry “They Sit Together on the Porch”
If just for a moment,
when the world feels like it is tilting so far
I just might fall off,
there is a need to pause
to look at where I’ve been
and get my feet back under me.
The porch is a good place to start:
a bridge to what exists beyond
without completely leaving the safety of inside.
I am outside looking square at uncertainty
and still hear and smell and taste
the love that dwells just inside these walls.
What could we want more
than to be missed if we were to step away
and taken from this life?
Our voice, our words, our heart, our touch
never to be replaced,
its absence a hole impossible to fill?
When we are called back inside to Love
that made us who we are,
may the “in between” of
time spent on the porch,
be left more beautiful because we were part of it.
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2 thoughts on “The Porch as “In-between””
Love this! Thank you Emily!
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