by Ernest Hilbert

Workmen have gutted the old house next-door.
Today, in winter rain, the brick is dark.
A tub glows on its side in the garden,
And a dryer squats against the fence. More
Comes out every day into the yard. They park
Their trucks on the curb next to the oven.
They tear at sandwiches and blast rock songs
From a paint-speckled radio. A washing machine,
Rusted at the seams, glistens in thin light.
Beyond the train tracks, a radio tower’s long
Sliver splits the mist, and its single clean
Beacon pulses white. Late day sags with night.
I watch the bare lot beyond the phone wire.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here.

Published on January 20, 2011