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"Alice and Bob" by Barry Rynk

Alice and Bob

Alice: the Avocado tree shades the bungalow from intense LA sun

Bob: the Bungalow breaks strong Santa Ana winds that blow down

They’re an example of loving symbiosis

Like love birds preening

Or elderly couples feeding

Alice and Bob have been together for a long time

I separate them when they kiss at the front stoop

Alice sends topsy-turvy fruit wobbling down Bob’s roof

Her roots and his foundation: All the way back to ’27

Bob plays the old records on the Victrola in the parlor

Alice hosts breakfast for congregations of Pasadena parrots

There’s a timeless nature to this slice of Bungalow Heaven

In the Fall, I rake the twigs and leaves around Alice’s roots

Up the ladder, Bob’s trim needs painting, and I fix the roof

It’s been been a labor of love restoring the old place

Like flower garden penance

Or caring for elderly parents

I’m just the latest caregiver in their timeless embrace


Barry Rynk lived in Altadena near the top of Marengo in a classic 1920’s bungalow between 2012 - 2016. He is currently working and living full-time in the Dallas area in the defense sector as an engineer, and enjoys writing part-time both poetry and short stories. Barry’s poetry is largely inspired by nature and his personal outdoors’ experiences, especially hiking, camping, and sailing. His first published poem, Frederick’s Fire, was selected for the 2020 Waco WordFest anthology. His second poem, Grandmother Tree, was recently selected a winner in the 2021 50th Annual Collin County Poetry Contest and published in the anthology.

Photo: Pavani Smith

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