The Orphan

The college boys considered it a roadside treasure,
excitedly hauled the orphan home, lugged it up
worn steps and placed it (for the next three years)
none too gently on the slant-floored, over-sized stoop
mostly out of reach of rain, snow, sleet, and hail.

If not an antique, it was certainly "aged";
not a worthy investment with one leg missing,
but nothing a cinder block couldn't cure.
It's suede-like fabric boasted a distant connection
to fashion, but one had to squint to notice.

But free was a different story
and the boys felt they'd rescued it from its beggared fate,
and many an evening and starry night were spent
playing cards, laughing, and attempting to woo a girl or two.

Napoleon Street was not as grand as its namesake
nor did neighbors complain of the addition
as they had similar settees gracing similar porches.

Mid-day one might find clothes-lines sagging
with undergarments; I particularly was charmed
by the occasional quilt drying in a shaded oasis,
as if sunlight might damage faded and worn.

Come evening, hellos and goodbyes emanated
from beneath these covered respites,
glasses raised, even the teetotalers joined in,
swigged down refreshing toasts on hot summer days.

Must confess I was never tempted to rest
upon the golden "velvet" couch, but was sad,
upon graduation, when I watched it hauled off
to another college porch, boys insisting its presence
was a "legacy" to be upheld.

by Margaret Bednar, July 15, 2019