• Keith Banner


our neighbor died

a couple days ago

total gentleman,


he always reminded me of

a kindhearted sidekick

in a 50s western

you know

the guy who stays

when everyone leaves

like loyalty is

built into his blood

stubbornly dedicated

to what he needs to do

mowed the lawn

like it was his destiny

kind to all kinds

of animals most people fear

ground hogs,

raccoons, skunks

he fed

them from his patio

and he always

was up for taking care of

sophie our cat

when we went on vacation

he talked about sophie

like she was a human


tickled him

and he was

gentle with her,


loyal to her

we always got him

a cracker barrel

gift card

for doing it

that was always

part of the end of a trip

getting that

for him

the simplest little

stupid things

grow into elegies

like weeds

and right now

thinking of his stubborn face

as he rides

that riding lawnmower

and then takes a shower

and goes to

cracker barrel

for dinner

with that card

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