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Front Porch
by Jeannie Roberts
                "Forgiveness is the fragrance
                that the violet sheds
                on the heel that has crushed it."
                                        ‐Mark Twain

In our sixty-three Chevy, under
a Minnesota moon, Dad drove
Snelling to Van Buren, where
the lights of St. Paul felt magical,
bright with possibilities as they
lit the way to Gram's boulevard,
to her three-season front porch.

"Not too wild now!" she'd holler.
My swing zigzags were a bit reckless.
Even so, I was careful long enough
to notice her tidy, little setting: two
corner stands with philodendrons,
four wicker chairs, freshly painted,
and a table, alive with the brightest,
most enchanting, African violets.

Now, in the fall of my life, under
a Wisconsin moon, where the stars
of Chippewa Falls feel magical,
glow over hills, meadows and the
unbridled beauty of wilderness,
I recall a wildflower, bright, alive,
crushed many times over while
trying to bloom, to fit, within all
the tidy, little settings. Even so,

I glide in the fragrance of forgiveness
and autumn's November air, moving
smoothly, without zigzag, on my
very own porch swing.


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