(Editor’s note: Luke Nolan, 17, lives with his family on 40 acres in the hills of northeast Cape Girardeau County. He wrote this article for his junior composition class at Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape and thought readers of the River Hills Traveler might enjoy it.)


I have always had that place where I could go to relax. It is my go-to spot for playing with the dogs or picking a tune on the banjo, taking a nap on the swing, or sharing stories on a warm early summer’s evening.

nolan photo

My front porch has always been my favorite place to relax and enjoy God’s creation. A cool breeze blows through the white railing, as the rocking chair blows ever so slightly with a soft creak.

Like a monster jumping out of a closet my dog runs, barking aggressively off the left side of the porch. A quiet deer stands unafraid, eating an apple as this evening ritual repeats once more.

My dog quietly returns through the green, freshly, mown grass with a slightly embarrassed demeanor. The deer wanders slowly along the edge of the yard and the field, scanning his surroundings. She reaches the serpentining cut of what is sometimes a creek.

Disappearing into the thicket of lush vines and bright yellow surprise lilies, the deer is gone.

Birdsong fills my ears as I look around. Just to the right of where the deer left sits a bulldozer. The rusted, yellow surface sits dull in the shade of the sunset.

I continue my gaze from left to right. I reach the sight of the shop. A white tin-roofed building with this and that sitting around it, mostly rusty old scrap metal and half-rotten board, lying bored for years.

Between the shop and me grows a bright red tree whose leaves glow like the nose of Rudolph.

A western sunset watches the earth as day darkens to a new light. Pale yellow lines tangle with bright red-scarlet. Purple soldiers surround, trying to break in, but red and yellow prevail. A half sun sits just above the quiet green trees atop the ridge across the way.

A bright full moon rises to the southeast accenting the whites of dogwoods and the magnolia growing slowly in the yard. The acoustic sound of banjo echoes me as my fingers begin to play.

As I get started, the spicy scent of bratwurst looms as my dad brings them in from the grill. He proceeds to tell me it is time to eat.

I just got started. I might just come back out to play for the stars after supper.

By Luke Nolan

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