Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"On this Porch and in the Weeds" by David Pring-Mill, Frequent Contributor



On this Porch and in the Weeds
By David Pring-Mill

The twisting print of a sandal settles blackly on the edge of one square tile. Skewing every direction, wildly, a mat of Palmyra
fibers awaits gunk, with deliberate teeth, synthesized to this task by man and industry and conformed to mat. Black mosquito
screens enclose these little Florida porches. Dripping down over tanned forehead, beads of sweat escape and are expelled by
the back of my hand, as I wait to be welcomed, lost in this peninsula of sprouting highways, fractured strip malls, droplets of
oil exploding beautifully onto asphalt. Porcelain angels decorate the tiles near my sandals, and lizards cling onto angelic
faces, and a pulsing, fiery dewlap distinguishes the male pumping blood through a body quick and agile, with those reptilian
eyes complacent and erratic. If this brown anole ever meets a predator, it will part with itself, and continue on, undeterred with
a bloody stump; a kinetic, slithering, and twitching tail left behind, like a souvenir for the bird. And with eyes of unknown
properties, tired wrinkles, well-defined grooves, tinted bifocals, and a resigning amount of slicked back, thinning white hair, the 
widowed old man answers his door, having shuffled over after I rang his doorbell and pierced the silence of his home with a
friendly, intrusive chime that surely resonates, through all those cloudy memories stirring gently under the bluest of skies. He 
recognizes me, and feels the humid air flooding in, and on this porch and in the weeds, a Floridian day somehow slips through
the collective presence, with creatures and people fumbling after time, parting with pieces of their souls along the way, kinetic
and slithering.


Poet's Notes:  I spent a lot of my childhood in Florida. This is a prose poem about the imagery of that state.