Country Girl Thinks of Home

                                     after Girl on Porch by Eudora Welty

She perches, solitary, on that dusty city porch
thinks of foxes, owls, rabbits, coons, hears
their night songs, their rustlings in the deep brush,
feels the pine needles soft beneath her feet,

thinks on that slice of marble-cake she just ate
from the plate with the glued together crack
that ran straight between the two blue dragons
like some tall cloud, skinny, blown jagged in the wind
while she sat on the red seated chair in Aunty Nadine’s kitchen.

No wind now, only the ragged dancing of heat,
thick electric wires hung like strings from poles, 
winking silver in the thickness of sun.

That cake no match for the stream that she saw daily,
swift and burbling, sweeter than any store bought gum,
sweet as the way Uncle Jacob would grab her under the arms
and swing her high, even after haying, with the sweat
like a splash of jug whiskey over his shirt, laughing,

calling her his best girl, even when she wore
her brother’s cast off overalls, her hair caught
in tangles, a burdock bound up behind. He made her 
light as a bobwhite, waiting to lift wing to the sky.

No. 8   2019