Our Neighbor

Sometimes she lies in bed for days,
a spark of woman, strangled by memories
of how her husband deserted.

We mow the lawn, shovel snow,
bring her groceries until she unravels
the black shadow’s attack.

When she surfaces, her mind blazes,
holding vacuum sessions at 3 am,
hosing down the windows
after midnight crawls through the trees.

She walks the dark yard with one good eye,
pulling weeds, watering flowers,
gray hair died a plastic red,
moving cartoon-like under the moon.

Tonight we help her clean her basement,
interrupting the decade-long nap
of misshapen boxes,
scooping armfuls of past into garbage cans.

Her smile breaks like a branch
as we throw out newspapers, toss empty bottles
and jars that she tenderly washed and saved
as if they were children
as if she’d have something to fill them with.

4 comments

  1. “Her smile breaks like a branch
    as we throw out newspapers, toss empty bottles
    and jars that she tenderly washed and saved
    as if they were children
    as if she’d have something to fill them with.”

    Ah, the treasures we, humans, behold, hold, and let go. Sometimes the smallest things mean the most. I enjoyed reading your fine poetry this evening, Kerri.

    Jan

    Like

  2. Kerri,

    My first thought, she is blessed to have the neighbors that she has.
    I’m thinking you are her angel.

    The poetry is vibrant and moving.

    “a spark of woman, strangled by memories”

    That line writes a volume. It defines her.

    “We mow the lawn, shovel snow,
    bring her groceries until she unravels
    the black shadow’s attack”

    Again, no other phrasing could show the picture so perfectly.

    “She walks the dark yard with one good eye,
    pulling weeds, watering flowers,
    gray hair died a plastic red,
    moving cartoon-like under the moon.”

    And this is the manic side shown brilliantly.

    And the close is indelible on this reader’s heart and mint:

    “Her smile breaks like a branch”

    You always awe me with your talent, your vision and your heart.

    Thank you for posting this one.

    sarah

    Like

  3. Jan, Merv and Sarah,

    Thank you so much for the kind comments
    and thank you to those of you who read and liked my poem.

    I appreciate it.
    take care,
    Kerri

    Liked by 1 person

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