I find him in the corner of the porch
where I, too, come to seek relief
from the pressing bellyful of the sun.
A breeze blesses us in this small haven of shade.
We talk about the weather and the comfort
we have together under the roof of this old house.
He is eighty-seven, a steady, thick-soled traveler.
He tell me that before this trip a threat of death
briefly blocked his steps. He will not go to Turkey.
He will go home, home that dwindles from his sight,
his house dry and silent since his wife died,
college friends he sees down from ten to three.
But here in the company of our group
at dinner he looks past his future,
his teeth, as he smiles, bright as the wine
in the light as he laughs and pronounces
his words slow and clear
in his stately Southern voice
how he waltzed the nights away
with the belles of the balls
surely the gentleman caller
Blanche du Bois longed for.
Janet Krauss has two books of poetry published, Borrowed Scenery (Yuganta Press, 2005) and Through the Trees of Autumn (Spartina Press, 2007). She lives in Connecticut, has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and teaches literature and writing at Fairfield University and St. Basil College.