The porch of my growing up
Remained my father’s realm  

Most nights he would sit there
On his lawn chair with his Irish coffee  

(We weren’t even Irish)
And contemplate the world  

Weekends and summers when he was at work
(Hard labor on his bar stool)  

My sister and I would invade that space
Makeshift rebels blasting our tiny transistor radio  

Too young for deep thoughts we stared instead
Into Johnny Wilson’s bedroom window  

We’d pet the splintered green paint
And declare it a good porch  

The first one without my father     
Proved to be a concrete stoop  

The air buzzed with The Grateful Dead
And motorcycle clamor from the group next door  

I had a dog then who lazed away the day
When the sun hit the step just right  

Sometimes he let me sit next to him
And we pondered the postage stamp yard  

He loved the birds and rabbits
(I can’t remember what I loved)  

The largest porch I populated
Was a shady wood country affair  

Porch swing     hummingbird feeder   
Plants enough to keep the world green  

A welcoming lounge for animals
And the rejoice of banjos and dulcimers  

In quiet times I studied the chapters of nature
Relished the ranting of stars  

Now my metal perch rivals city rooftops
Man’s homage to tool and technology  

But the evenings are cool enough to move clouds
And the wind chimes stay busy in their music  

I lean back and sip my coffee
(No Irish in sight)  

Muse the question:  After years of porch zen
Was more gained looking out or into myself?