Barbara Mayer


I always wondered what neighbors thought

when my mother mopped our front porch

every Saturday, rain or shine.

We never sat there or used it for anything.

The back porch was where we hung up

our dish towels to dry, shined our shoes,

set out tomatoes to ripen, and where

Mom darned our socks in the warm sun.

Back porch people wore aprons or overalls

with their sleeves rolled up ready to do

what needed to be done, or just rested

after the day's chores were finished.

Front porch people were "uppity," Mom said.

She had no use for neighborhood show-offs.

Barbara Mayer
Kansas City, Kansas
BARBARA MAYER, 73, Kansas City, is retired from the field of public relations. She is currently the editor of Benedictines magazine and has had poetry published in several magazines and newspapers. Her poem captures the spirit and image of pre-electronic midwestern-America. Her sign is Cancer.