The neighborhood is still alive
Jeremy Nathan Marks

Who said anything about whistling while
you work?

But you can sing while taking out the trash
raking leaves or helping someone
with their car

With four walls and a roof and none of it
shared who said you’ve got to smile
and mean it when you say

Yes, ma’am

Save when you’re home
and playing that music loud
and inviting in whoever at whatever
hour

Firecrackers on the holidays
(and sometimes other days)
the dogs begging to lie on top of the bed

Other times beer bottles broke up
in the gutters
but somebody out there sweeps

This is it

The neighborhood is still alive
people still keep their porches clean
and fridges are out the lawns

Maybe next year for that block party
but they watch your kids
get home and give them lemonade when it rains.


Jeremy Nathan Marks is a teacher and activist living in London, Ontario. His poetry and photography have appeared in numerous places including The Hopper, Lake, The Blue Hour, Electric Windmill Press, Dove Tales, Jewish Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, Up The Staircase Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, Proost Poetry Anthology, and Nomadic Press. He is currently at work on a long poem on the life and witness of Norman Morrison.

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