I heard it from the narrow alley
along our house, water hissing
through the tightly clenched mouths
of my neighbor’s sprinklers.
I peeked over the fence. His lawn
glistened faintly in the full moon.
Yellow grass glowed more distinctly
pale than his few clumps of green.
What a long winter. What a long, dry winter
of ugly shapes dark, cold and cracked.
I saw them piled up on his lawn,
all those fear-fraught things, as if begging
for a mercy cast out of the sky —
begging me, mind you, for something
that is not mine to own that I should give it.
And when I returned within she was still hiding
inside the plea of hunted animal eyes.