Poetry Porch: Poetry


What makes place
By Mary Buchinger

      not space are three
things: a feeling of safety,
a sense of purpose,
and a view

           my son explains
as we swing together
on a wooden bench
suspended from chains
in a city park far from
our home
           A photo shoot
unfolds before us
a woman in lavender
blooms this way and that
beside a patch of royal
blue irises
           I feel safe in the benign
air of New Orleans   children
with lime sno-ball lips play
on the lawn in this place
                          I wonder
if I can be place for my son   if I
comprise the necessary elements
But there is a fourth thing   he says
he can’t remember
                               The poser
has changed into a scarlet dress
platform shoes   matching satchel
a living wall of green ivy
pops her red   she flips
her hair for the camera
                A woman in fuzzy
slippers stops by our swing
Oh, I always loved traveling with
my mother! How embarrassed
she’d be to see me out in slippers
                                         Can I take
a picture of you? I have 300 gallons
of honey   My husband keeps bees
I promise not to take your phone

                          We smile
for her   Her vape pen clatters
on the sidewalk   falls apart
she says This clear    dry air
is unusual here    You’re lucky!

                     When she
wanders off   she forgets
her insulated mug on the ledge
and my son runs to return it to her
Oh thank you    she gushes
my son nods    acknowledged
in this place
                     Must be people
I say    the fourth element
making space a place

Copyright © 2021 by Mary Buchinger.