My neighbor was a biker, a pusher, a dog
and wife beater.
In bad dreams I killed him
and once, in the consequential light of day,
I called the Humane Society
about Blue, his dog.
They took her away
and I readied myself, a baseball bat
inside my door.
That night I hear his wife scream
and I couldn't help it, that pathetic
relief; her again, not me.
It would be years before I'd understand
why victims cling and forgive.
I plugged in
the Sleep-Sound and it crashed
like the ocean all the way to sleep.
One afternoon I found him
on the stoop,
a pistol in his hand, waiting,
he said, for me.
A sparrow had gotten in
to our common basement.
Could he have permission
to shoot it? The bullets, he explained,
might go through the floor.
I said I'd catch it, wait, give me
a few minutes and, clear-eyed, brilliantly
afraid, I trapped it
with a pillow.
I remember how it felt
when I got my hand, and how it burst
that hand open
when I took it outside, a strength
that must have come out of hopelessness
and the sudden light
and the trees.
And I remember
the way he slapped the gun against
his open palm,
kept slapping it, and wouldn't speak.
| Best Poems | Short Poems
Email Poem |
Top Stephen Dunn Poems
Analysis and Comments on The Sudden Light And The Trees
Provide your analysis, explanation, meaning, interpretation, and comments on the poem The Sudden Light And The Trees here.