The autumnal drone of my neighbor
cutting wood across the pond
and the soundlessness of winter
give way to hammering. Must be
he’s roofing, or building a shed
or fence. Some form of spring-induced
material advance.

Mother called early to say she’s sold the house.
I’ll fly out, help her sort and pack,
and give and throw away. One thing I’d like:
the yellow hand-painted pottery
vase that’s crimped at the edge
like the crust of a pie—so gay, but
they hardly ever used it, who knows why?

A new young pair will paint and mow,
and fix the picket fence, wash windows face
to face in May, he outside on a ladder,
she inside on a chair, mouthing kisses
and “Be Careful!” through the glass.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 4 Number 8, on page 43
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