Death in the Neighborhood

by Bob Meszaros

 

Here, foreclosures slowly rot:

their wooden shingles warp and snap;

at night, thieves and drunkards rip the molding

from the plaster walls and strip the copper

piping from below the sinks.

 

And, now, the Hutchinsons are gone,

their old rooms emptied into bright red dumpsters,

their asphalt driveway buckling in the summer sun—

weeds fill the cracks and patch the ruts.

 

Its handrail split, its wooden spindles

bent and cracked, the front porch teeters

on its fieldstone base; behind plywood sheets

the doors are locked, the windows shut.

 

And tonight, through its empty

wooden frame, I watch a new moon rising

above a backyard gone to seed. In the shadow

of an elm, a backhoe, motionless and silent,

its bucket like a hammer raised, awaits

the bleat of trash trucks in reverse.

 

About Author:

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Bob Meszaros taught English at Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, for thirty-two years. He retired from high school teaching in June of 1999. During the 70s and 80s his poems appeared in a number of literary journals, such as En Passant and Voices International. In the year 2000 he began teaching part time at Quinnipiac University, and he began once again to submit his work for publication. His poems have subsequently appeared in The Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Red Wheelbarrow, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, and many other literary journals.