Historic preservation

Twin shutters define tall windows that extend to the floor; at their base is a wide sill to step over onto a porch running the length of the house. Bunched with bees, wisteria clumps hang from the eaves in a curtain of perfume. A child dotes on those low sills, made for our use we thought: instant doors with no need to stoop going through as grown-ups do. We played the endless games of inside-out, skimming the edge of parlor doors past kinfolks gathered in murmuring groups. Or collected to eat watermelon with its sharp, sweet smell, crisp from depths of the well. What happened on those flaked-paint boards is long gone, children scattered, the memories cold. A letter from William says, ``The old home was torn down; the land cleared of its roots and all the oaks. Come and see.''

Yesterday I parked in the paved open space running the length of the glassy Mall. Looked up at the name carved in fake stone over the bold entrance arch: WISTERIA PLACE.

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