Splayed, swayback, cheap pipe
playground: a swing, a slide, some rings
maybe—we love our babies
and a tire hanging from a branch
won’t do. For one summer
it shines—red, the chains of silver,
and beside it the blue plastic pool.
First winter out it goes to rust.
I love America’s backyards,
seen from highways, or when
you’re lost and looking
hard at houses, numbers.
The above, plus a washed-out willow,
starveling hedge, tool shed
a dozen times dented,
and a greasy streak
against the garage where a barbeque
went berserk. A Chevy engine block
never hauled away
or the classic Olds on chocks. …
Beneath the blue-gray humps of snow
are pieces of a summer, a past
Mom said to pick up,
but they weren’t. Nobody’s home, all
across America, nobody’s home now.
Brother or Sister is, in fact, on Guam,
or working nightshift at the box factory,
or one is married and at this moment
wiping milk-rings from a kitchen table.
And Mom, Mom is gone,
and the ash on Father’s cigarette grows so long
it begins to chasm and bend.
Leave a Reply