A few months ago I had arrived early for an appointment and I spent the time waiting in the car rather than going in. I had a great view of the property next door and formed some impressions.
Whole World Back Yard
I look over the fence and survey
the casual abundance
the drama to spare
the scope the range the opportunities
the private lives living themselves out
here in the back yard.
The wishing well sits plump and cheerful
under a rotting shingle roof
flanked by two rusted metal drums each leaning inward
in the snow.
The out-of-season garden tractor
huddles beneath a plastic sheet
almost a ghost in its filmy drape
though it’s a ghost
with its maker’s brand name
The weather-grayed plywood shed
stands with its door gaping open and
just a shade too close to
the wire-fenced enclosure that is
sporting an appendage of wood stakes
covered with bird netting
stretched tight and full of holes and
the both of them are mortified at
being caught in this situation
if you go by their body language
and I do.
The garden statue, a discolored cherub
wearing a melting snow-wig,
gazes in despair at a pile of brush.
The paint-spattered ladder lounges
against the garage
wishing for a cigarette or
maybe a can of beer.
The snow blower stands silent and
sulking in the driveway
no blowhard bluster from that party today.
The two red shovels lean against the side fence
daring each other to try just try a push
and see what happens just see
The old man walks from the garage to the house
and he could say plenty if he wanted to go to the trouble
but he doesn’t.