My mother did not share the concrete front steps
Hot on her cotton bottom.
She poured sweat beneath bare knees, wide thighs that peel a pound diets
Never shrunk, a blue veined jiggly legacy.
On either side of her late afternoon perch, dangerous midcentury ramblers,
A taunting pony-tailed bully, a German Shepherd rattling the chain link side fence
Only inches away.
Across the street, Mrs. Arrowsmith taught tap dance to her Catholic brood and the hidden in plain sight Jewish children
My mother denied.
And behind that row of ubiquitous brick ranch houses and fake colonials
Jack in the pulpits
A man whose last name my brother still remembers
Raining down projectiles
From a BB gun,
Protecting his private quarter acre
And cursing the communists.