Friday, August 3, 2012

“One-hundred Degrees in the Shade”

Dust chases us down the road   
engulfs the car   
swirling like powdered sugar blown from a birthday cake   
coating our sandaled feet as we step into the furnace   
The dogs retreat to bunk bed and chair   
anticipating evening’s approach—   
a breeze, teasing and seductive   
Buffalo grass, brittle reminders of Spring’s bounty   
squat in death   
Cedars, tipped in brown and rust,   
finger summer’s dragon breath in search of moisture   
The naked sky, adorned only by a relentless sun   
yearns for bird song   
Silence, even, languishes in the oppressive heat   
Live Oaks, gnarled limbs supplicating to the cloudless sky   
plea for rain   
Wash away the sins of the world   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, August 2, 2012

“Not Just a Sandwich”

         The women who live across the street from us built a beautiful wooden front porch and placed matching rockers, side-by-side, on their inviting veranda. Every day, their two cats lounge in this area until they decide to cross the street and sit smack in the middle of our front yard, sending Bridget and Koi into a barking frenzy. Once they know they’ve disrupted the dogs’ day, they saunter back across the street. This intrusion into my day marks the only impact having lesbian neighbors has upon my life.
These women do not threaten my property. Their well-kept home doesn’t detract from our neighborhood. They mow the yard and trim the hedges. They keep the house neatly painted, have huge plants on their new front porch, and sweep the leaves from their driveway every fall. They live a simple life just like everyone else on our street.
         These women do not threaten my marriage. If the laws changed and allowed them to marry, so that after twenty years together they could have the same legal rights that David and I enjoy as a couple, it wouldn’t ripple into my life in any way. But their lives would change for the better.
These women do not threaten my ability to hold onto personal beliefs. They smile when they see me and wave with friendliness. They don’t ring my doorbell to hand me a pamphlet and try to convert me. They simply want to live their lives happily and openly.
         These women do not threaten my family. Having the right to publically and legally declare their love and commitment wouldn’t take anything away from my family. It may add one more drop to the tolerances that I hope our society fosters.

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman