Next Door Up The Hill Lourdes

Sometimes I wish
we lived in the woods and 
things were quieter and nominally 
safer; but then

Next Door Up The Hill Lourdes
brings over unexpected
baked fish, rice and beans
in a reused cold-cut container,

asks to borrow ten dollars
till Tuesday. It’s a pretty good deal
as she always pays up on time
and the food, fish or chicken or 

steak tips well seasoned and
always with rice and beans,
is always at least good
and sometimes far better. 

It’s not anything more 
than a city neighborhood
— rarely too quiet,
sometimes too loud, but overall

not terrible — a little too tightly packed perhaps; 
in winter we shovel our own driveways before helping
each other, but we do help each other;
we don’t call the cops, handle our own shit — 

barely look up anymore
when I do see them, guns drawn, arguing 
over who covers the back and who 
covers the front when they go in

across the street and come out 
disgusted, shooting me
nothing but a dirty look when I smile and wave
as they drive off empty handed again — 

maybe next time, guys, maybe next time,
though the person they seek moved away 
months ago and we don’t know where he is,
really, not a clue — 

it’s a city neighborhood, the low end of town
hanging on the side of a hill that’s never plowed in winter,
a place where we plant backyard gardens
in one small patch of sun — we make do, we get by, we make it work.

Right now for instance,
I’m sitting outside enjoying this baked fish
as Next Door Up The Hill Lourdes sways,
a little tipsy, up the street to buy

more sweet red wine and then home to her TV before bed. 
I think she watches game shows, the volume turned way, way up.
From my steps I can hear the applause, I can hear the shrieks
of someone, somewhere else, winning.

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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

3 responses to “Next Door Up The Hill Lourdes

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