Porches: A Death by Larry Thacker

It’s a procession, a parade if you like, 
recurring in the night down Main Street, 
a little dream, a little dread,
chunks of building cracking away
and crashing down where the crowds
would gather if the sun was up warming. 
If they knew there was a parade to go watch. 

Every float bares a porch scene, 
rockers and swings, hanging baskets
full of third-generation flowers, 
toes and heels tapping to music picked 
on instruments fashioned up the coal road 
by someone’s great uncle or grandfather.

A procession of dying things:
late evening sip of bourbon dried up
from the glass, the day’s heat
gone, leaving pools of humidity
up in the rafters, ready to bead 
by sun-up along the lilt of cobwebs,
no steps of neighbors coming to call, 
no traffic passes all the pulling mules
dragging the floats one way: out of town.

The fear is gone. Fear evaporates
the instant before death. 
What is most dead is sometimes 
what carries us, where we wave from
when something familiar passes.  

Larry D. Thacker is a Kentuckian, writer, and artist now living in east Tennessee with his wife, Karin, and their cat, Abraham Lincoln. His writing is in publications including American Journal of Poetry, Poetry South, Spillway, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Town Creek Poetry, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice Hunting, Memory Train, and Drifting in Awe. He earned the MFA in poetry and fiction from West Virginia Wesleyan College. 

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