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  • Keith Banner

Elegy

our neighbor died

a couple days ago


total gentleman,

83,


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


sophie

tickled him


and he was

gentle with her,


totally

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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