Porch Swing

Robert's Porch Swing

Robert’s Porch Swing (Photo credit: spike55151)

Zachary eases back in the big swing on his big porch in his “rundown” neighborhood. People have come and gone over the years. The past few it has mostly been gone. He remembers when his mom and dad brought him up from Birmingham all those years ago to buy this house. It took every last nickel they had ever earned and they both worked like dogs to keep it. He just sits back, a big glass of ice tea in one hand and his pipe in the other.

Little Nellie, his youngest, and her children bug him that he should stop smoking. They nag him that it is bad for him, and that his cough will go away if he quits. Why should he care now though? He’s seventy-six years old, and he’s been smoking for over sixty of those years. He’s going to get called home someday anyway, called home to see his Agnes again, and ma and pa, so what does it matter how? He puffs away, feeling a little defiant as he does so, and just watches the neighborhood come alive in the summer sun.

He watches girls walk down the street, gossiping like they always have. Some things never change. Other things don’t change either. He sees young men walking shirtless, eager to get into a fight. He never understood that. Anyone can hurt someone, it takes a lot more work to heal. He thinks of Zach Junior. How he used to be like these young men. He thinks of his son working hard to get out from under the trouble he got into, and how proud he is that his boy is a healer now. Even if he joins in his little sister’s lectures. Zachary smiles wide and even laughs a little as the firemen open the hydrant to cool off all the kids.

It’s not the same neighborhood he moved into all those years ago. Still, there are signs, remnants, and reminders that some things never change. The kids still play, the moms and dads still worry, and sometimes, just sometimes, you get a day with no worries.


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