These fences, half done, half
still counting the afternoons
that return alone and those
with no way out –the dead
must like it here, come by
bring the family, lawns, let you
get to know the neighbor’s
birthdays, what they remember
–this colony has built its city
on staves broken off as sunlight
that looks away though the gate
is open, used to your shadow
spreading out to cool, holding off
step by step where the name goes
when you give it back and in shame.
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities,” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.