The old house we live in had no front porch

originally, but was added in the 1930's

by a carpenter for his son with cerebral palsy,

so the boy could get some fresh air.

We found his initials carved into the railing,

shaky and crude, alone, with no lovers' heart

encircling two forever, next to the porch swing.

The porch swing was unpainted, aged grey and

fell apart four years after we married,

although the hooks still hold to beams, empty.

I wish I knew how happy the boy had been

and if his father carefully lifted him high

to rock back and forth on a sunny day.

Each of my children probably has differing

memories of that old swing, just as my husband might

though mine is of carrying it to the curb, broken,

back when the town had an official Junk Day.

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