The Family Sleeping Rough Down the Street

Sixty-two degrees in late October
feels cold in the house,
unseasonably warm outdoors.

Stay outdoors until dusk 
and as the temperature descends
you choose to go back inside

where the temperature has risen
to a stifling sixty-eight degrees.
You open a window, just for

a few minutes, you tell yourself,
just to moderate what the sun did 
to your home while you were gone.

Now both indoors and outdoors
are in your house. Indoors echoes
with outdoor traffic, outdoors the neighbors

can, if they choose, attend to
your indoor music, smoke, and
inane conversations. You will shut

the windows before bed and call that
the end of the day, the reset moment
that reaffirms the distance between you

and that family sleeping rough
in the encampment down the street
who are permitted no distinction between

indoor and outdoor, private and public.
The noise and the cold are always there.
Home is a tarp and an abutment

and they are always well aware
of what the neighbors think.
You’ve thought it yourself

as you pulled your sweater tight
and closed yourself off: brrr…it’s getting so cold.
I’d hate to be them. That must be awful.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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