Finding Peace

Twenty years in apartments
Doors slam open and shut
Footsteps clomping upstairs and down
Day and night
Live on the top floor but still get blasted
Surround-sound booms from below
Subwoofer so loud Acoma pottery
Swims across the coffee table
Screaming children—learning from
Screaming parents, who yell ugliness
A smoke alarm goes off, someone letting
A pot boil dry again
Must get out

And now, in this house, so big
On a busy road but the noise
Disappears in the back of the house
Night and day
Look outside, trees and wildlife
Hold your breath: no sound but
The tick of the clock
The patter of my cats’ claws
The sound of my own heartbeat
A fox meanders through the yard
Deer eat the neighbor’s tomato plants
A breath out is more than air
It’s relief

Gerri Leen
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