I woke up this morning and decided to put on some news. Maybe today would be the day middle America got their dues. Sadly though, no, not today. We still fight our fights, listening to the sensationalism the broadcasters bloat about, reinforcing our awareness in anger and fear. Communities broken, neighborhoods in dire need of shaken hands across fences is needed once more. Togetherness is what made America and it also might have broken her too.
Im not that old to still remember when the porch was the main stay of my and many other’s neighborhoods. Sidewalks full of children out playing on hot summer’s nights while the adults hug around the steps of someones porch discussing the politics of the day. Some had fingers around a cold beer and others a nice smelling cherry tobacco cigar, most likely from Cuba. No one really cared about a lot except what happened local, and maybe some after the cold war politics. We were not afraid of our police who patrolled the neighborhood, our doors were always open and if someone was in need we helped.
Those were the days, now middle america is afraid of their neighbors, locked doors and fenced in properties surround their large castles with armed motes and dogs. There are no children who play outside, except those so poor they don’t really have anything to lose. We sit on the couch with coffee cup in hand and devour the news and all its topics, shaking our heads and wringing our hands of all the drama there is. No hand outs, nor hand me downs, just glitz and glam for those who can afford it, and thats only a limited few.
I love middle America, the corn fields, and the mid state ranches. The tropical trees of Florida, and the hippies of the west coast. Those that are drawn to each other out of compassion and the love of their fellow man, woman, child and its neighborly communication. Where has it gone and will it ever return.
I will end with a poem I wrote in honor of Middle America.
Rocking Chair Middle America
Weathered and worn out fingers wrap rolling paper around old tobacco leaves. Tongue tips saliva, from wet lips into the creases to hold together another puff of serenity. A days end brings peace to a countryside of corn rows and apple trees, nurtured side by side over acres of land. The land held in earnest of those old worn down hands.
A view that stretches on forever, beliefs of heaven and hell intertwined everyday shelters his peace inside an old worn out shirt, as he rocks away years of self taught attitude. Something to heal the pain in his hands.
Dust in the distance tells of people, to many for his liking, to close for his comfort. fences mend but memories do not. He still sits and grips the fears that someday someone may infiltrate and take away all that he has made good.
One more puff, red fire light makes a shadow on the darkened sky. Cows and horses baying in the distance can still bring a smile to the old man’s face. Alone and not forgotten he waits for Sunday and the tall tales his old wooden rocking chair is made for, and the children and grand children who more than anything else brings a contentment to his worn down mind.