December

We've bagged most of the leaves that finally fell 
from the fig and two maples. The grass is drab
and brown, threadbare like a garment that's seen
better days. The wooden fence has the look
of waterlogged cardboard; it's starting to cave
in the middle. Along one length, mushrooms ripple
like a lace hem. The men who trim and edge the lawns
won't come again until the middle of spring.
So it's quiet as evening approaches, no sounds
of motorized whirring. When night drops its dark
dishcloth on our roofs, we pull the blinds close.
Passing cars and delivery trucks turn on the outside
lights and motion sensors, or neighbors out with their
dogs. The man who's always walked with two grey poodles,
one young and one old, passes by; but now with only one dog.

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