Imagine a front porch,
not the southern, wooden veranda,
but a solid concrete and stone place,
on the north side.
The modern, tall and narrow, fake, black plastic wicker
planters have just been filled with roses, lavender in topiary shape,
trailing lobelia and something white.
The grey stones are wet from watering and hosing down,
glistening even in the shade.
They remind of cobble stones in a European market place,
and sitting beside it in shiny, contemporary bakery cafe.
Two Muskoka chairs sprawl under the spread of the Amur cherry.
Birds fly to the birdfeeder, but there is no more birdseed. The tree will provide.
Birds come here of every color, alone or in swarms: a virtual bird paradise.
The Bergenia blooms in extravagant pink.
The Lily of the Valley is almost getting there.
There is also the Prairie Crocus. It does well.
It is still too early for mosquitos, but the shaded spot already feels like a refuge,
on this first hot day of the year.
Everything is perfect.
Except it is not.
The place is for sale.
The realtor's lock-box is on the door handle.
No one lives here any more.
And many who used to come here, live no longer.
How can this perfect moment only be a moment?
How can it only be a glimpse?
The birdsong reminds me of my grandfather
who had little wild garden with birdfeeders.
He identified their songs and reveled in them,
tried to teach them to me.
He, too, had a shaded porch by the front steps.
He hung up a swing in it for me--a Haven for a time.
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