Through the house, past dead ants, dusty floors and bookcases overfull with books and games and more dust.
I push the neglected can of prayer requests in front of the door to hold it open.
The warm air outside makes the house feel cool. Stepping outside, I smell bacon.
The cicadas are singing. I walk through an invisible thread of spider silk strung across the drive.
On the cement, tiny ants are busy. Behind the crack in the pavement, and the poke bush, the hydrangea has a pink flower.
Near the mailbox, I pick up a yellow leaf and a small red one. I leave the pecans lie. Next door the neighbor’s lawn is as neatly groomed as mine is not. English ivy, elaeagnus and trees grow at will over here.
A car goes by. Through the newly trimmed bushes I see my wild yard.
We spent sunny summer Saturdays in our grandparents’ yard. Squeezed into the swing under the apple tree, we rode the magic carpet to adventures, barely escaping monsters lurching towards us down the dirt path. “Geni of the magic carpet, go, go, go!”
We bridled our sawhorses with jump ropes, throwing Nanny’s pillows on for saddles. Our tents leaned against the old chicken house or the wooden slide we waxed with a candle to smoothness.
Sometimes we splashed through the red and green wadding pool. Once Barbara said she saw Mershell, our little ghost uncle, looking out of the upstairs window at us.
Four generations ate lunch by the snowball bush on a board and sawhorse table. All I remember is the pineapple juice in metal cups, so cold and vanilla ice cream cones, a maraschino cherry on top.
Come evening, we squashed into the car, two sisters and their five children, riding singing home across town.