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POETRY / Neighbors / Marie-Andree Auclair

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Our house plans mirror each other:
we sleep head to head on each side of our common wall
trot up and down our conjoined staircase at predictable times
smile over the backyard fence, friendly
over our skewed densities, eight of them to one of me.

The men fiddle with restive cars, I, with a reluctant garden.
In summertime, they eat on the back porch, I never do.
The matriarch and I take garbage to the curb, hang laundry
on our lines and eye each other’s underwear, trade coupons
and talk about her daughters and the weather. 

One night, on our common front porch, she screws a red bulb
in the lantern out front. I rush to buy a green one
to contradict any message broadcasted by a red light
in our sketchy area. I tell her cheerfully, we’re ready early, aren’t we?
For Christmas, I mean. It’s July. Suddenly I wonder what green means.


Marie-Andree Auclair’s poems have appeared in a variety of print and online publications in Canada, the United States, Ireland and in the United Kingdom. Her chapbook, Contrails was released by In/Words Magazine and Press/Ottawa. She lives in Canada.