Suburban Retirement, by Mid Walsh


No one is living here.

Only house after house of screens
tethering the people inside elsewhere.

A lot where men
of wrecked eyes and earbuds
chuck a dumpster full
of ragged limbs of teardown.

And a lawn split by sprinklers
that hiss transparent daisies
or spit at the street,

where a solitary walker
stops as if to ask,
shall I step on a dark spot?


When I retired the plague struck
and everything stopped working. 

Now I sprout strange fears,
mistrust ladders, scaffolding,
three-legged stools, the cliff
at the end of sidewalks;

the fear of falling
a wake
of empty down-draft.


Why have I not dreamt
of the same old broken place
the rooms of tired rib, knuckle-propped,
needing my repair?

Instead I scrape the sky,
stand beside a man
as tall as towers,

our brotherhood
of architecture
where cut flowers of wind
shear by the building’s base,

and waterworks
trickle at a rock hollow
upped to speak
to passersby of interest,

and his clouded eyes
are telling me
how to know this city.


Awake, I want
to walk like thunderheads
among suburban teardowns,
to listen to the dumpster
of broken mullions
vacant as old calendars
where, like rain, the rat-feet sing.


Mid Walsh is a poet, singer, athlete, husband, and grandfather living near the ocean. His poetry renders his life experiences into the music of language and is forthcoming in or has appeared in San Pedro River Review, Lily Poetry Review, The Road Not Taken, Nixes Mate Review, Silkworm, and others.