"Return, we beseech thee, O God of Hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;" Psalm 80:14


During childhood Joy and I played in playhouses
In Dad’s woods ‘til dark and back in the woods by early light;
--Best-Neighbors having a play at Chic-Best-Neighbors
Gave us a pretend at sophisticate suburbanite.

Our playhouses replicaed modish houseplans to the turnkeys;
Albeit the foundations were outlined with sticks and leaves;
And we best left to imagination features of Staircases and Balconies
To ensure houseplan modifications could be made with ease.

Multi-functional tin-cans and planks were effective
In fashioning luxurious sofas and beds and chairs--
In building pantries stocked with gourmet “canned goods”
And kitchens housed with the most “modern” of wares.

Polk berries served well their purposes
By elaborately decorating gourmet mud-pies
And garnishing salads and fruit compotes and canapés
And writing social invitations before that polk-ink dries.

Our elegant plank and tin-can coffee tables
Displayed the latest House Beautiful magazines
While imagined sunroom French doors opened
Onto terraces for exquisite flower garden gazings.
Stylish veranda furnishings were designed and made
With the same plank-and-can construction material
Where Joy and I could languidly sit in mornings
And share exotic “tea biscuits” and cereal.

Our courtyards would become scenes of hip refinement
With Hors d’œuvres and caviar buffet tables
And aperitifs made with we-knew-not-what
At our eclectic “Thornfield” out under our “Seven Gables.”

We also built a church in our neighborhood
Which had pews made of stumps and planks;
--Where “Featured Personages,” like, --Joy and me
Preached, played organ, sang and gave thanks.

'Oft like in "Sound Of Music" we'd on the "landing" wait
To make our staircase “grand entrance” for our pretended date
With a powerful man of great personal attraction and fate
--Or perhaps with that Marquis who owns a grand estate

--Or perchance a man of old money would come our way;
Or perhaps one handsome but merely of bourgeoisie
Who would engage us and become our pretend fiancé
Pedestal-ling us as beauteous Belles of Tennessee.

Our imaginations created an entire charming social network
Giving our pretend neighbors, dates and friends a sublime spin;
Our playhouse-world became quite picturesque and elaborate
During our long childhood days spent with a neighborhood friend.

Joy was the embodiment of true sophistication;
She’s a classy person now as she was then--
Always a person of poise and grace and beauty--
That was Joy, a wonderful neighbor and childhood friend.

What fun days Joy and I had in those playhouses
With Hours-Upon-Hours spent in drama and pretend
And Joy later in teen years calling me her “DTY”--
--Her Backward Acronym for “My Best Friend.” 

                                 -- Joan Binkley 
                                    June 21, 2007

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