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The Suburbs

Kenneth Sherman
From:   Clusters. Mosaic Press, 1997


I too dislike the scenery:
the uninspired lawns,
the freshly sealed driveways,
the predictable turn of sprinklers.
Those who live with abundance
yet somehow wish for more.

Who can plumb the contradictory depth
of that hunger
and that uneventful ordinariness
that's become an easy target
for both the social worker
and the poet?

For something in us wants this:
a place to be unafraid
and generally unnoticed;
to be quietly productive,
unwilling to admit how prosperity
permits us to live and let live.

It is true. There are painful regrets
and dramas behind each door,
days we would rather forget.
But how considerate the region is
with its regular
goings and comings. Its appearances.

Whatever it is we've surrendered
is sensed in the evening
as we watch the darting birds
cut through thickening dusk
and know that something
larger, something secretive

is held constrained under
the asphalt and pavement. We ask
if there were once gods in the cedars
who have abandoned us. We wonder,
as night wraps around like a mask,
at the pressing disorder of stars.



Kenneth Sherman's works copyright © to the author.


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