Lawn chairs for me are the vehicles of time travel:
Plastic webbing, aluminum tubing, Space-Age curves
The sound of crickets, the smell of pine, a setting sun
And I am there in my grandmother’s backyard
The pine trees came from Vermont years ago and she
Planted them in the southeast corner to create privacy
Because the neighbors were otherwise very close.
When I looked up, I saw Vermont and pine cones and imagined snow
And quiet and winter and another time completely
Before I was born and therefore could not feel alone
And inadequate and so much less than what they wanted.
Two trees and their distant pine cones became my forest.
By day my grandmother and I sat under those trees in summer
To feel cool and faraway, and she lit incense
She was sure would smell like pot to the neighbors.
It was a small back yard, but it was old and the grass was thick
That knew the bare feet of generations of my family.
Give me a lawn chair, and I will tell you about a grandmother
Who knew her stories were worth telling because
They belonged to both of us and said love because
So many before us found that life was worth living.
Her summer daisy chain
Of sitting under trees and feeling the cool was the gift of time
And of all who loved us but were gone.