Our brick houses
had one floor, storm windows
to install in October,
heavy brass doorknockers,

screened-in patios,
lawn jockeys, and front porches
with wrought iron railings.

The rusty bicycles flopped
on the driveways,
the smell of peat moss in wheelbarrows,

the hum of fans from Sears Roebuck,
sidewalks turning the color
of grocery bags when wet.

The luck of a clover
with one appended leaf.

We had board games like Monopoly
shared by three families,
the little green hotels disappearing
just like the old market and the Bargain Center.

The braided oaks with crooked tree houses,
the burnt leaves, black fish
swimming in air.

And on an unseasonably sunny day
in late October, I found
my mother's floral umbrella
and went strolling into the breeze
under its spinning canopy,

sucking a lemon.

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