Porch Songs
by Bryn Chernek (Fregger)

Ask me my dream
And I’ll paint you the days
Of a home with a porch
The palest of grays.

The heart of a home
Where memories are made
Begins on the boards
Under the shade.

The porch, an invitation
A home extends
To moments with family
With neighbor and friends.


On the covered porch, spring’s morning shade clings to walls.  It’s purple mist crouching in corners cool and thick with the smell of wet grass and damp beams.

Fat morning bugs—the spider, snail and sow—measure the deck’s length, stopping for a moment on some unseen chore then moving again, crossing the vast cuts of painted wood.

Violet shadows slip slowly from the porch, pushed out by the rise and pour of morning’s sun.

The gentle light falls into the corner of the porch where a small boy sails plastic ships across the glowing planks.

Sitting close in the swing, a young girl pulls swollen petals from flowers.  With lips as full she sings “Loves me, loves me not.”

Upon the railings, full in baskets the bright buds bloom, pressing their blush toward the coming day.


Bright towels and swimsuits hang over the porch railing.  Like flags they wave to friends and those passing by.

Steps become soapboxes for neighborhood chat as mothers and flowers bend long thin necks ducking dragonflies that ride summer’s light breeze.

Chiming ice echoes in tall tea glasses as a cat turns and stretches in the wicker chair.

Small feet, smooth and bare, skip like stones across water.  Jumping toys and sandals the children drop to the cool white sheet spread loosely across the front of the deck.

Plump purple plums held tight in their hands, juice spilling down chins to bellies, splashing finally to small toes.


Near the steps the family sits cracking walnuts with hammers on wooden blocks Pulling sweet nutmeats from shells and tossing them into a large bowl.

Warm loaves of spiced fruit bread and burning logs scent the autumn air.  A throaty wind chases leaves under the bench and into the corner of the porch where they crowd together rocking and shaking.

Father’s laugh is like burgundy.  Rich and full it fills the space under the eaves. Words are shared and they all laugh.  Even the jack-o-lantern smiles.


Quiet is the clear night.  Winter’s offering, brilliant without color or sound.

A spray of frost covers the steps and railings of the porch.  Like turning kaleidoscopes colored specks of ice dance under the glow of flickering luminaries.

To those who come, the porch stands as a beacon, it’s great arms beckoning, reaching out into the night, pulling, calling, “home, home, welcome home.”

And now with my dream
You hold in your hand
Four moments, four seasons
Four lifetimes that stand.

Under the porch
Painted palest of grays
Tasting small moments
Savoring sweet days.

And the hope for all lifetimes
Is that each one will see,
How small things … are big,
How good life can be!


Copyright 1998, Bryn Chernek (Fregger). All rights reserved.

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