His walk down the driveway hurts.
This neighbor, freshly malignant, will die soon.
I’m up early this morning to do in
some red squirrels tapping and scratching in my attic.
One year it’s fire ants and carpenter bees,
another year moles and woodchucks. So many
hostile takeovers and insatiable tycoons to ignore
or hunt down or kill, and they always come back.
When I see him later the old gentleman
with the golf swing and unfashionably long car
and acceptably dirty jokes says he’s lost
his bladder and sixty pounds. For him heaven would be
taking a decent piss. I know like his
my days are numbered. Later in the morning I try
to savor a good long one for him but don’t quite.
Above the commode, through a window still decorated
with a holiday wreath, I see his less determined walk.
How small he seems, as if spied through the wrong end
of a telescope. Finches nested on the window ledge
are raising their grotesque young. They fling shit
from the nest against the window. I watch and wonder
if it’s the same finches year after year, as they must
wonder if it’s the same guy pissing year after year.
I give in to the miserable things because they sing,
because I love them and soon they will fly away.