Tongue and Groove Reading Nov 12, 2022

For Tongue and Grove


Adirondack Chairs 

by Deborah T Johnson


Jigsaw puzzle of greenery, the trees  

nestle next to each in the 

slicing sideways light of sunset. 

The yard in the back is filled with it, filled

with the late, late summer side slant of sun. 

The plastic Adirondack chairs shadowed,

left, as we left them, askew, 

me, looking at you,

maybe my feet 

in your lap... 


No, it wasn’t us that set them ajar. 

The one time we sat there, your discomfort

grated on my tranquil storybook vision, of us  

sitting in the sun, 


The Wine, 


we went inside.


Now I see them, those pretend plastic, pale

blue, light blue to match-the-house, 

chairs of ease, 

one chair looking at the other, while the other  

stares off  



We meant to build a fire that summer,  

a fire pit evening of Romance,  

but I saw your dis-ease.

Was it the heat?

The drone of the bugs? 

The chance of a gnat, 


in your drink? 

Or was it-

something else,                          

something not found 

in the sideways slant of cooling air. 

Something, off in that horizon, 


by the pale blue, the light blue  



cutting your sight 


from the road. 

It must have been-

because, you said Goodbye,

several times that summer.   

A nod, a kiss, and you were off,  

in your mind, because you never left,  

but sat, in your uncomfortable 


of not belonging here, or where you thought,

you belonged, 

wistful plans set ablaze, not by midnight cords of wood

in a pile amongst the rocks, but

set ablaze, by a whimsy, a promise,  

not promise. 


We sat,  

that summer, and watched the flowers in the pots bloom, 

and the rains carry one away, 

and the gnats gnatting as gnats do,

cannon balling into pinot, 

taking up residence,

in that pale blue, light blue house 

with plastic mountain chairs 

on the lawn. 


Those chairs, 

those Adirondack chairs, 

still sit in the shadow of the slanting sun, 

still sit, still sit waiting, 

for a time things will be right 

with the world. 

We just have to get to the other side of That Summer,

find the whimsy,

fulfill the wistful promise, 

fly down that open road,

and no longer sit, 

in an uncomfortable 


askew, in plastic 



Spring Came Regardless

I am digging in soil right now,

Planting plants I bought months ago.

Months ago, when I had enthusiasm for spring,

I bought plants with my granddaughter.

On a sunny day in March

She picked out the prettiest ones 

not suited

For my sandy soiled landscape of no sun.

But we bought them,

Brought them home

Placing them near a bright window 

Per the gardener’s instruction,

Waiting for the warmth, but.

Then it got cold

then I went on a cruise

then I said hell they will die anyway

then they didn’t

so I’m planting them,

Bless their little green hearts,

well into Spring, nearly summer,

In my sunless, sandy patio garden.

There is a bird’s nest in one of my pots.

Spring came regardless.

Gentle Kisses

gentle flutter kisses

taste and feeling

shimmer through feelings

shivers down her spine

to her toes

up to her heart

out through her soul

to his

all in the gentle 

flutter of


View djtj's Full Portfolio