In My Back Yard

In my backyard, undiscriminating addiction is gutting our children, neighbors, families.

In my backyard, Gracie and Milo are sunbathing on the patio
with one ear poised for any car that might dare to drive by.

In my backyard, on an average day, 96 people die by firearms.

In my backyard, the groundhog and I keep vigilant watch over the lettuce,
the leeks, peas, tomatoes, all just coming into view.

In my backyard, a surging tide of tourists is arriving to embrace the
unequivocal stunning delights that the Berkshires has to offer.

In my backyard, undiscriminating addiction is gutting our children,
neighbors, families.

In my backyard, it’s 78 degrees, the grass is green, the sky is blue, and the air
is so clean that no breath is big enough to drink it in.

In my backyard, it’s 9 p.m. Do you know where your children are? I pray you
can say “yes” because there are so very many asylum-seekers, mothers and
fathers who are answering “no.”

In my backyard, laying in bed at night, I can hear the coyotes sing, an owl
calling its mate, a train’s tamped rumble as it moves through the dark, taking
my prayers along with it.

In my backyard, in your backyard, in our backyard.