An Ode to a Fence

Two days away from moving back to Washington Street. We’ve booked the U-haul, started packing, cleaning away any history of us being here, which has been strangely effortless. Because, we never really unpacked when we moved in. It’s odd, as if from the first day we moved in we could sense that this was only a place to stay. Not a place to call a home.

Don’t get me wrong. Years of homelessness taught me to be appreciative of any roof that protects me. But, the quest for simply a dwelling has done me no good. I need to plant roots. Stability. Homestead. I have always had this strong desire to warm a house into a home, and to firmly give honor and respect to the land on which that home stands….

We move on Saturday. All the back and forth moving our things will probably tire us, so I’m set on us just grabbing a sandwich for dinner. But, Sunday….oh, the plans I have for this Sunday.

While we finish hanging our clothes in the closets, while we move my desk to the brightest window, the stove top will be simmering with black eyed peas. As we decide which corner should boast the presence of memorable knick knacks, as we carefully consider if we should put a chair here or there, collard greens will be soaking in pot likker. And as pictures are hung, and mugs are placed into cupboards, the aroma of buttery, sweet cornbread begins to permeate the air, trailing the smell of hot rice.

If I had my way, I’d have you all over, demand you grab a ladle and get some supper. I’d insist you gather around the table as the heavy humidity begins to dim and the late summer storms begin. We’ll laugh and share stories as we shelter from the afternoon monsoon.

I’ll spy over your shoulder on occasion, peer through those big windows and take a peek at that twisted, wrecked picket fence and its bony frame as lightning cracks crazy smiles across the sky.

The flashes catch the silhouette of that old fence, leaning and worn, inviting with the smile of a Southern, dowager debutante just anxious to be gracious.

And all I can think right now is, “Damn. Haven’t even moved in yet and I’m already writing some really good shit.” 🙂

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  1. There are moves that weigh down a person. Then, there are moves that are joyous. Saturday will be the later for you both. And maybe this will become your honeychurch. Happy moving!

  2. Hot damn, Gregory! Just love it when you wrote like this. Can I come over (It’s a really really long trip. So it’s mostly imaginary) and paint pictures of the fence from the window?

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