Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor

Here is a life that could have been yours
in this house you pass, walking at night
past houses and trees. Windowglow
and shadow inside, a man and a woman
dancing, a record player with its lid
propped open so the sound will drizzle
out. Next door, another, Japanese Maple
shuddering under the window, dogs,
babies, parents preparing for sleep.
How did you get here, do you know
where you live. Porch swing and
magnolia, perhaps, or blue siding
and trampoline in the back yard.
Quadrupled duplex, brownies baking
on the end, the whine of a beginner
violinist in another. You can’t choose
a new place, now that the others
are all moved in.


  1. Wonderful conclusion to this poem.

  2. Your poem makes a person think about "inhabiting" your own life. It also makes me think about taking a walk in a neighborhood as you wonder about the neighbors you've never met, feeling on the outside and yet connected.

  3. I think we have some identity that's not governed by place, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

    Also, when I take walks like this, I wonder if my interest in other lives (esp. how they became those lives--the narrative involved) is healthy curiosity and even altruism or just voyeurism. I'm choosing health, but not with complete confidence.


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