Sunday 19 June 2022

'A Midsummer’s Front Lawn' by J. B. Stone

When there are no children at play, turning cul-de-sac pavement into street hockey exhibitions.

When there is no middle-aged dad mowing grass blade after grass blade to appease the false gods of neighborhood ordinance: another realm appears in the dry-heave summer air. The ornaments plastered across every front lawn start to unravel from their inanimate states.

The lawn gnomes awake from statue to flesh, flip open synthetic boulders like miniature speakeasies, dispensing tubs of magical booze, and galivanting around carved shrubbery with pitchers of mystifying lager and ale. Making lines of fairy dust to snort until their noses turn into gumdrops. A flamboyance of plastic Flamingos join in the party. The moon shines like the universe’s answer to spotlight.

Pinwheel flowers bop their tops and sway their petals like the scenery of an old MGM cartoon. Their stems grow crazy-straw roots and raise like the hands of churchgoers praising their God.

Stone mason frogs with painted skin and adorned in vaudevillian outfits, leap from once-bolted- down pedestals, fix their bowties, but loosen their belt buckles, grabbing a treasure trove of ingredients from a mini-fridge hidden in the hollow of an oak tree.

The red and green polka dot mushrooms then unchain their bodies, and crawl out of the dirt like babies from an earthy womb, sprouting arms and legs, swaying and breaking to the beat of nearby house parties from afar, trying to mimic the heartbeat that finds life in every soiree within a 10-block radius.

When the street-lights are out and these little hubs of suburbia resemble dormant, ghost towns.

Where the only light left comes from the window views of dinner affairs and absent parent house ragers: a menagerie of creatures run an all-night carnival of tacky art imitating even tackier lives.

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