Ain’t It? : A Poem

There is a tree that sits across the street from my apartment

Mid-sized, huggable trunk

Ashy bark tied once around with dirtied twine and city-issued paper

Condemning all who dare position their vehicle in front of it

Only on Wednesdays, though

Wednesdays is when they sweep the streets

 

A few months back, it undressed its spindly arms for our neighborhood

By the glow of rooftop Christmas lights

And a few months before that, floated down its golden brown and red

Remnants of summer

 

Leaving the apartment requires looking directly across the street at it

It also happens to be the place where my dogs like to pee.

 

I check the time

Blue-white glow on my week’s worth of work-wrought face

Squinted eyes at artificial shine

Instagram feed shouting

 

Shouts of excess

Shouts of things

Shouts of anything, really.

 

But mostly, shouts of “This is living, ain’t it?”

 

Every self-assured photograph

Confident thing

Punctuated by a question mark

Begging for a “Yes.”

 

Tonight, my evening awash in a filter of navy blue

Eight paws and two feet jumbling down the gravel-gray industrial-carpeted steps

Sidewalk, damp with rain’s flattened leaves

 

Jay-walked footsteps in secondhand moccasins

And Kate

Shouting about how raisins are poisonous to dogs

As the lock clicked

Saturday night.

 

Eight paws back up calf-straining stairs

I open the door

To my girl yelling about raisins

To a near-empty glass of $5 Cab

To saltine crackers

Adorned with Cracker Barrel cheese

 

I open the door

To simple.

To home.

 

Tonight,

Without an audience,

The tree erupted in white blossoms

 

This is living, ain’t it?

 

Tonight,

Without an audience,

The tree erupted in white blossoms

 

Answering, “it is.”

 

Photo courtesy of Michael Hicks, Flickr Creative Commons

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