by Barbara Mellin

On our veranda, we sit, sipping coffee.
We live in the South now, with time to relax.
Up north, we called it a deck or a porch.
But more than nomenclature has changed.
We have changed, too.

finchWe watch squirrels and listen to birds,
Their chatters, screeches, whistles and trills.
I’m sure we had birds in New England
But we didn’t have time to enjoy them.
To welcome their visits … or even their songs.

Or should I say, we didn’t take time
To start our day on the veranda,
To watch finches, yellow, tiny and flitting
Feed from our feeders, full of thistle and seeds,
To eavesdrop on their world, — now our world

­Here in the South, we have learned, literally,
To stop and smell the roses,
And the lilies, and the pansies, and the phlox.
All that we planted last spring is flourishing.
And, we, too, are blooming in this new garden.

Back home it is snowing — perhaps pretty, but cold,
No. That’s not true anymore, for this is our home, now.
We share it with finches and flowers and friends
And we view it, with Southern satisfaction,
From our veranda.

Barbara Mellin has a graduate degree in Art History from Harvard and teaches online courses for Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts. She also writes a bimonthly column for Renaissance magazine and has contributed well over a hundred freelance articles to national and international publications. She and her husband moved to Winston-Salem five years ago, and she is a member of the Associated Artists of Winston-Salem. Her poem, “Waves,” recently won first place in the Winston-Salem Writers Anthology contest, and her essay,The Ironing Board, received second place. 

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