Pop Culture

Point Loma

Death in the Backyard


There is a rumor running through the silence of fenced areas
It is late afternoon & late sunlight & cool shade in a windfall
Resting a skeleton of night across the brick walls & clotheslines
It is late afternoon and they are rising from their naps in every yard
Among trees & fences and they are rising from their sudden deaths
To stillness before dinner in the back yard and a ship of sunlight
Wrecking itself against the shoals of sheds & leafpiles

The rumor running through their yards wakes them from their deaths
In the still pools of shade at the juncture of boundary fences
It arrives by the accessways with the neighbors’ dogs & children
A rumor of death along the street a rumor of people slipping into death
As the afternoon wanes easy as raking up leaves or opening the garage
Door easy as stringing up the hammock in the spring or washing
Down the steps easy as feeling the afternoon light fail against the eyelids

In each backyard there is a pall & a garden
There is a cataract of afternoon over each flagstone surface
They awake to funerals in every yard
Invisible mourners among the fallen leaves
It is a long distance between houses the rumor runs from one to another
Something is coming in through the accesways something is rattling the leaves
In the side yard and they awake and sleep and awake again in the