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Garret Keizer: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch]

Garret  web















The Neighbors


When a man and woman built their house

on the hill behind mine, thus ruining

forever the satisfaction I took

in seeing no house but mine

in any direction,

I felt cheated and bitter.

I live at the foot of the hill,

I thought, and any time they wish,

they can peer into my yard.


But they were peerless people,

most times quiet as the trees

they had not cut, their voices murmurs

in the wind, their jackets flashing

colored wings among the branches.

The woman gave birth to a son,

who calls my name cycling down the road

as though I were his long-lost friend.


So I live at the foot of the hill,

and any bitter man who would climb it,

meaning my neighbors harm,

must first get past me.


Garret Keizer is the author of The World Pushes Back (Texas Review Press), winner of the 2018 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, and of eight prose books including Getting Schooled, Privacy, and The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want. His poems have appeared in Harvard Review, The Hudson Review, Raritan, and The New Yorker. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine and Virginia Quarterly Review.


Boy on bike


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That Ship Has Sailed
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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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