My Little Babylon

Look out your back window or door — describe what you see, as if you were trying to convey the scene to someone from another country or planet.



Through the back door of our house I see a cement wall,
and beyond it, children playing in a swimming pool
splashing and screeching with glee,
water, water, everywhere I see.

There’s the second floor balcony where Heather used to grill chicken and the cat would gaze down at me with such bored disdain
and on the far wall towards the back,
fish swimming about, this way and that.

But Heather’s gone now, and new folks have just moved in
No more fish, no more grill, no more cat on the window sill
Except for a man sipping coffee every morning
Saying, winter is over, here comes the spring.

The third floor balcony is filled with plants and flowers
Tomatoes sprouting, red hot peppers hanging ever lower
Ready for the picking, the usual eyes squinting
Watering from the heat, though there’s more for the picking.

It’s an interesting sight I see, just beyond my cement wall
Sometimes I just sit and watch, doing nothing at all
But listen to life go by, watch the neighbors putter on
This little corner of my world, my little babylon.


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