Writing on the Deck

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Writing on the Deck at 55 Mountain Fern Drive

 By Shawn R. Jones

 

The small orange sliding board

has been sitting there

fifteen years.

I still see my daughter

walk up its blue ladder

in her purple coat and

pink, and lavender hat.

She is about four.

 

I look over at the

rusted snowmobile.

My son lifts its gray cover

and reaches his small hand inside.

A swarm of wasps whiz

from under its shiny red hood.

My son yells and joins them in flight.

Black framed glasses fly.

His sister cries for him.

 

I stare at the four-wheeler,

wrapped in worn tarp.

Debris from each season

lines its blue wrinkles.

My son walks up the red stoned driveway,

helmet in hand and head down.

He ran the quad into a tree,

showing off for a couple boys his age.

He is ashamed.

 

My eyes avert to the rock pit.

Yellow and blue flames

move like Hula dancers at dusk

as marshmallows crust over

bent twigs, like singed

pussy willows.

Charred goo sticks to our lips.

Brown faces glow with delight.

Snakes slither

from the pit of warm rocks.

 

But we do not worry.

We are not afraid.

The night is too perfect.

 

I stop writing and

walk back in the house.

It is quiet.

Our children are grown.

My husband and I

come up alone now.

 

We browse antique shops and

examine zithers, Roseville pottery,

vintage watches, and signed photos

of living and deceased stars.

We dine at Piggy’s

and enjoy foods

our grown children tell us

we should not eat.

 

We walk by the lake

and take pictures.

Butterflies are shy and

fireflies pose in midair

as black bears

fumble through trashcans

on the side of a wooded road.

 

In winter, we play cards by the fire

and swap secrets like candy

as snow piles up outside for hours.

 

But we do not worry.

We do not regret.

The night is still perfect.

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