HomeSouthern VoiceThe House Across the Street

The House Across the Street

by Garland Strother

We wondered who would buy it,
the single mother with a small
child or the couple we thought
might party and swap partners.

Maybe the older couple our age,
he with a brown cowboy hat,
she with slim pants the color
of cotton and a college t-shirt.

You can never be sure who
to hope for. Two blocks is not
a long way. Someone like
the current residents or someone

who may enliven this two-block
street of huddled shingle shakes
hanging on to the end of fifty
years and the beginning of more

at the mercy of self-help and
the beauty of crape myrtles
hanging in the shadows of oaks
weathered by the big gulf.

A native of Tensas Parish, Louisiana, Garland Strother was born in St. Joseph on Mayflower Plantation, where his father was a straw boss. His family left Louisiana when his father began working in the oilfield. After completing a master’s in Library Science at Louisiana State University, he served as director of the St. Charles Parish Library, near New Orleans. Since his retirement, he has lived in River Ridge, outside New Orleans, with his wife, Liz, also a retired librarian.

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