Roses in pots; stubby, uneven grass we believed 
would grow into luxuriant green. We tried to make 
that garden as pleasing as others'. I remember 
mint growing on one side of the porch, bougainvillea 
quickly taking over the wall. No birdbath or statuary 
of cherubs, but Saturday afternoons we drank
soda on the steps, fingered dog-paged komiks 
borrowed from the corner store. Angela 
puckered her lips and boasted that she'd filched 
her sister's tube of coral lipstick. Unless the grownups
were around, no one really batted an eye, not even when 
she asked if we wanted to see the lace edge of her new 
panty. On the downwind, the heavy musk of magnolias.
The call of owls at night, always interrogating.

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