“america in all lower case” by w.r. green

there’s a giant dog in my neighborhood

living under the deck, 4 houses down,

on the right, behind that white picket fence

faded now, but still standing guard.

well i think that’s the house.

i only know because the lady

down the street

told me

about him,

and though she drinks a bit,

well maybe a lot,

she sits by her window

all day

and all night

singing a song not played

on the radio

in ages, not since the radio was

america’s voice,

waiting, for what

she will not say.

she points out to me in her

whiskey hushed tone

the absence of life, in

or around

the overgrown houses

paint peeling, cars melted into the asphalt.

he’s there, she assures me

a cigarette, no filter, bent from the pack,

pointing to no where specific.

we both stand in her yard, watching in vain,

the sun playing tricks

the weeds wild

and free, unhindered

and unleashed

like the dog.

We both shield our eyes, hers old and watering

and blue like the sky, mine brown and disappointed,

and wave

as the last moving truck pulls away,

a small dog barking from the passenger’s lap

his joy at making it out alive

obvious.

W.R. Green was born and raised in Mississippi and now lives in Montana with his wife and children.  He is currently working on a collection of poems titled The Red Suitcase.  

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