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Back Yard

By Michael O'Meara


Copyright 1999 Michael O'Meara


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You've got the front door and then there's the back door.
Manicured with painful attention, the front door is for rubes and
Jehovah's Witnesses while the back door is a shared confidence. In the
back there's the laundry line, retired cars and failed home improvement
items. Now no one in their right mind is gonna show you that area
without an abiding trust and the implicit understanding that you're not
to go gabbing to neighborhood about the aborted hopeless items stashed
out in the garage.
Cinder blocks invariably migrate to backyards to nest aimlessly amongst
the weeds and under rimless cars. They are especially attracted to
anything made by Chrysler in the mid 80's. Old plastic toys turn into
sun bleached scummy ponds which mosquitoes use as trysting places like
no-tell motels. It would not be recommended to walk about the place in
bare feet unless you've entered some strange White Trash Iron Man
Tetanus is the end result of any such foolishness.
Dead lawnmowers lay about waiting for repair. The horsepower is etched
on the top and with each succeeding model it's higher and higher as the
hopeless battle of the weeds continues. 21/2, 3, 4 HP. The rusted blades
entangled in old spider webs and shucked cocoons are exposed for all to
see as the mowers lay about like helpless upturned turtles.
The grill has seen better days. Days of gatherings. Nights of beer and
badminton. Kids tearing around the corner only to be met by a red-hot
grease spattered bomb.
Ah but the table.
 Sometimes covered by a cloth of homey red patterns or otherwise laid
bar,. all manner of food and conversation has passed over its boards.
The family triumphs, curses and puzzlements. The suspicious activities
at the house three postage stamps down.
The dog's leg lifts nonchalantly against the weathered splintered wood.