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"Front Porch Sitting" By Karen Carter

Day 27 of Quarantine

A tiny, brown lizard crawls up my front porch steps,

jerking its head turning back and forth.

Then, content to play dead, the reptile spreads out its extremities,

plants them firmly on the brick.

I drink my morning ginger peach hot tea.

Some time passes. I know not how long.

Without notice, the little lizard slides down the porch,

like the green grass of spring

calls its curiosity to dance.

To the right of my open porch, a spider web hangs from the azalea bush.

Notched by four corners, rectangular threaded holes sway in web delight,

like a dream catcher shoulders the previous night’s fright,

awakens a new morning dew.

I hear the sounds, “Woo WOO Woo,” the second woo pitched a little higher.

Is this the Great Horned Owl in the woods?

The wise one that activated the motion light on my front porch Halloween night?

The eyes that penetrated me, then flew to sit on my backyard clothes line?

The owl now revisiting me?

My front porch sitting redeems a lost art,

though some may say my quiet,

gentle pursuit, greeting the social pleasures of a new day,

simply masks piddling.

I feel a wind stirring

silence between my toes.

Perhaps the little lizard, the spider, and the Great Horned Owl

check in on me—my life turned inward—while I

check them out.


Karen Carter, PhD, is a seasoned teacher in secondary and post-secondary education. In 2018, she joined the faculty of Columbia Early College High School, where she teaches English and serves as an advisor of the Poetry Club. She is licensed by the State of North Carolina to teach English, grades 9-12, in public schools. The day before their high school graduation, seniors gathered at her front porch to hang out, celebrate their beloved English teacher, and sit for a poetry reading to hear "Front Porch Sitting" and a few more of her new poems. Dr. Carter lives in rural-remote Tyrrell County, in Columbia, near the Outer Banks, North Carolina..

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