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Salat Days
by Michael R. Burch

(dedicated to the memory of my grandfather, Paul Ray Burch, Sr.)

I remember how my grandfather used to pick poke salat ...
though first, usually, he’d stretch back in the front porch swing,
dangling his long thin legs, watching the sweat bees drone,
talking about poke salat—
how easy it was to find if you knew where to seek it ...
standing in dew-damp clumps by the side of a road, shockingly green,
straddling fence posts, overflowing small ditches,
crowding out the less-hardy nettles.

“Nobody knows that it’s there, lad, or that it’s fit tuh eat
with some bacon drippin’s or lard.”

“Don’t eat the berries. You see—the berry’s no good.
And you’d hav’ta wash the leaves a good long time.”

“I’d boil it twice, less’n I wus in a hurry.
Lawd, it’s tough to eat, chile, if you boil it jest wonst.”

He seldom was hurried; I can see him still ...
silently mowing his yard at eighty-eight,
stooped, but with a tall man’s angular gray grace.

Sometimes he’d pause to watch me running across the yard,
trampling his beans,
dislodging the shoots of his tomato plants.

He never grew flowers; I never laughed at his jokes about The Depression.

Years later I found the proper name—“pokeweed”—while perusing a dictionary.
Surprised, I asked why anyone would eat a ****.
I still can hear his laconic reply ...

“Well, chile, s’m’times them times wus hard.”

Published by Lonzie’s Fried Chicken, Grassroots Poetry, Poet’s Forum Magazine, Harp-Strings Poetry Journal, A Flasher’s Dozen (prose version), Poetry Life & Times, Centrifugal Eye, Better Than Starbucks. Keywords/Tags: Great Depression, South, pokeweed, poke salad, poke salat, bacon, lard, front porch swing, sweat bees, nettles, weeds, greens, beans, forage, foraging
Beside the porch of broken dreams
She invited me to her dreams.
When I asked whether or not
which door to walk through.
That's when she cut the lights off
& everything got dark
Beside the porch of broken dreams.
I too, sit
without so much as a light
to keep me company
ALesiach Jul 2019
Rocking on the front porch
Watching the stars in heaven play
Rocking back and forth
Sipping from my lemonade
Melting all my cares away

ALesiach © 08/05/2017
Lydia Jul 2019
If I could write my future
it would look somewhat like this

A little light blue house with a porch swing out front
plants growing in vases on the porch and in the garden and our mail box would say Mayne
we would have a dog and a fish in a bowl on the mantle above the fireplace
I can see me in the kitchen making something for dinner while Gavin does his homework on the counter and Ben helps him with his math
We’re married, two cars that run and a little baby on the way
we would laugh a lot and snuggle on the couch before bed and talk about baby names
On the weekends we would spend time together when Gavin was at his dads and do things like go out to dinner and plan little dates
every year we would have a family vacation and cut down a Christmas tree for the living room
on our anniversary every year we would always make sure to go to the Red Mule for at least a drink or some pizza because that’s where we had our first date
if we argued we would always make up and make sure to fight fair
we would never go to bed angry and always remember we’re on the same team
my last name would be different and my heart would be full and I’d have a family and a home and peace of mind
we wouldn’t need much because we already had a lot of love
that’s all I really want in life
Jodie-Elaine Nov 2018
The dog is nine years
three months
six days old
and still counting,
the old man sits and counts up in
a chair rocking on an old porch,
creaking floorboards faded wooden again
from turquoise,
turning raw in their old age.
Parts of the floorboard have chipped away beneath
the chairs wasted slats
and yet the old man still sits, counting
down
time
like a train whistling at a
trespasser on the tracks
like a stray hair curling from
it's braid
get off those tracks
'cause you know it's not your place.
All we ever do is rot back down to
the floors we came from
and maybe
all we end up doing is completing a week
and then we're not counting anymore,
and maybe
the chair doesn't rock back to dust
and forth to
nine years
three months
and six days old
and we sit on our old porches
watching the train tracks and
maybe we know it's not the
time or the place
but a train whistles at the
trespasser
and we watch the young girl
and we count down, looking away
when it happens.
But we're not counting any more
and we sink into the porches we came from.
2015
K Balachandran Nov 2018
Purple mango leaves,
The tree unfurls on one morn;
Tender smile at the porch!
She Writes Jun 2018
Losing friends is inevitable
I’ve lost many before
Death, distance, and lifestyle
Has already taken its toll

You were the friend
I couldn’t bear to lose
Although you are gone
My hope is not spent

I will keep you in my heart
Holding on to the sentiment
Even the lost can find their way home
If you leave the porch light on
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