Flakes of oxide green paint
once uniformly coated the oversized front porch
now swirl in corners
and line each darkened edge
up to the threshold.
She sits on porch steps
holding mulberry tree branch
Stirring shavings, separating mounts
separated by size –
Removed from the crowd inside,
the porch steps offer protection
as she reflects –
reflects on complexity,
Whitewashed slats shelter the heart
from seasonal swing
dustbowl heat of California summers,
wicked wind, and trembling rain
that follows through winter.
Her mind wanders.
Then focus’ to examine recently cleaned
no longer worn or dirty handrails –
Handrails that guide towards welcoming front stoop
and bright chartreuse mat.
Shiny new spindles
but somehow you missed – Missed coating the concrete.