Front Porch Swing by Sheree Shatsky

My guess is most Southerners have a story about a front porch swing and mine is likely similar to most, only to add that it is truly impossible to fight or argue when one’s vestibular system is engaged in full kinetic motion. My brothers and I as known combatants found ourselves exiled out to the porch more often than not, ordered to reach a truce before even thinking about stepping one foot back inside the house. We beat a path to the swing, slapping our fannies down hard on the cypress slats, elbowing our way past each other with comic situational camaraderie. Whoosh! Off we flew, back and forth, pumping our legs in harmonious precision. Soaring over the edge of the kelly green porch, our sneakers grazed the goliath flower heads of the magnificent hydrangea bush, the blooms purple one year, blue the next, botanicals blessed with an oh my Lord fragrance as fresh as the robes of angels plucking harps in the early sun of a new day. The rugged steel chains clicked and clacked against the hardware securing the swing to the roof beam and us from certain death as we swooped like an Alabama metronome against the heat of the summer day.

Miss Juanita screeched our way from the yard next door, her shrill fundamentalist voice washing over us in a dull ache. What do you youngins’ think you’re doing, that swing’s gonna break free and rocket you kids straight to Kingdom Come, you mark my words, you mark ‘em right now! The window out front reflects kids on a mission, three sets of feet swinging high, slicing through the muggy marmalade air as easy as you please. Kingdom Come, here we come, Kingdom Come, here we come, make sure we’re home before dinner is done, we chant and sing and rejoice, bound for glory on a swing and a prayer.

Sheree Shatsky writes short fiction believing much can be conveyed with a few wild words. She was selected as an AWP Writer to Writer mentee for flash fiction Spring 2018. Recent work has appeared in Moon Park Review, Flash Flood, Crack the Spine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, KYSO Flash, Fictive Dream and X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine with work forthcoming in Funny Pearls. Read more at Sheree tweets @talktomememe.

The porch of a suburban house
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