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On the Porch of Magnolia Manor: by Steven Croft

girl with ice skates, image by Lorri Lang, on Pixabay

On the Porch of Magnolia Manor, Decorated for Fall

She would tell me wistfully about carrying

her skates to the lake in Ohio, while I watched

the soft joy of luminary candle bags along the sidewalk

out to the hedge of azaleas, holding away the asphalt

of the island's main roadway, or stared at the black sky

bright with stars, their silent light close, impassive.

I had to make time for this because she loved the porch

at night and could only stay out, or pass through

the buzz-lock door, with a family member after 9:00.

I knew, a hundred times over, she was a skating

champion, at that lake where she met my grandfather,

like, she was later a Friday night bowling champion

for Brunswick Manufacturing. Now,

she could only talk and slowly walk, refusing a walker,

with a cane back to the antiseptic room with a few

knickknacks and family photos. Close to bedtime

when residents had to make their way to their rooms,

she put her hands on the arms of the rocker, but

wouldn't rise, just rock gently and say, "I feel, you know,

'blue'." Yeah, I knew. No polished explanation, but

close enough for horseshoes. And I was there

because I knew.


Steven Croft lives on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia on a property lush with vegetation. His work

has appeared in San Pedro River Review, Red Eft Review,  Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Williwaw Journal, Your Daily Poem, Quaci Press Magazine, Gyroscope Review, and

other places.

August 2021 issue

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