Daily Archives: March 4, 2023

Hen And Chicks

It’s a neighbor with a bad car
parked on the street
without plates, the cops
hovering around then having it towed.
It’s the couple screaming at 
each other on the sidewalk and 
one of them tears a rock out of your wall, 
raising it overhead, and now
it’s your concern. Did they screw up
the succulents that grow there,
the hen and chicks? You yell down from
the bedroom window to put it back.
That breaks the anger spell.
They leave after tossing the rock
onto the top of the wall.
You will replace it later
now that all is well and after
the tow truck leaves with the bad car?
It’s almost as suburban out here as it is back home
where high school friends live who say
“the city is a cesspool” and trot around
boastfully shaking their heads at me 
from their beautiful yards 
where the hen and chicks grow from holes
artfully cut into the sides of barrels 
transformed into planters they bought
at the hardware store down the street
from the place where that guy 
stabbed another guy in the back of the head
at a lazy evening barbecue a couple of years ago,
an isolated incident among isolated people,
insulated people who choose to turn away. 
To those high school friends I say:
welcome to the cesspool
where I see my shit and name it
while you hide yours.
In the longest of long runs
it all smells the same. 
It all spills out eventually
just like those tough little plants do when they 
bloom, long translucent stems and flowers
drooping out of barrel holes and stonewall cracks,
trying to make the best
of wherever they find themselves.