In the house across the street, two generations died.
The dogs died too.
We watched death happening across the street
as if there were a TV screen between our house and theirs
to keep us safe, as from the nightly news.
Because its roots kept breaking sewer pipes,
the City took our front-yard tree away,
and now we see in brash, unleafy light
between our own house and the house across the street
just permeable air.
JOYCE SCHMID’s recent poems have appeared in Missouri Review, Poetry Daily, New Ohio Review, Antioch Review, and other journals and anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband of over half a century.