Every Other Sunday

27 Mar

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After long walks and longings over the homes and porches of Boulevard and Monument Ave in Richmond, Beloved gave me this.


Crossing the James this morning,
the light was just right.
The seeds of summer
in its edges,
grew thoughts of
late Sunday afternoons,
the shadows in
my southern soul.

I remember him
when May deepens on the steps
of my wide plank porch.
As always,
heavy magnolia breezes would sweep
their fingers through the embroidered edges
of dogwood blossomed muslin
draped like moss over
the table.

He’d sit
in cushioned willow reed,
white linen collar,
sleeves rolled in soft squares.
Resting chin in hand,
fingers spread across his lips
as always.

I’d begin.

He would recline,
right elbow
on the chair’s wide arm,
right leg crossed,
ankle on knee,
argyle sock like
a surprised cock’s crest
from his trouser’s
crisp cuff,
his toe pecked
in cordovan Oxford.

As always,
his eyes would hold
intent hazel bemusement
at my story,
perhaps some questionable character
had crossed my path
or I would deliver an account of
once too often
from a Saturday night
glass of gin.

Limoges lies
over the table.
As always,
he’d move the plates aside.
A julep would sweat the hour
in its cold silver cup
before a plate
of orange honeyed ham,
aside it
warm biscuits
and damson jam.

In the temperate air,
the phonograph would call. . .
Want another? I would rise,
hands smoothing down
blue rose aproned thighs.

As always, shugah. His prodigal sigh.
In passing, my palm
might press his suit shoulder;
one finger might linger.

Upon the dome
of my freckled
skin and bone
his wanton thumb,
might reply,
a proper pastor,
as always.

–for chp–

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