The Enormous Room
My troubled neighbor who hung herself
is finally gone.
Wednesday evening, the former husband
and, I guess you might
say too, the former daughters hauled
the last of her pitiful
possessions to the road for garbage
day: two huge,
ratty stuffed animals who looked like
they’d been won
at the State Fair and then cast out
to live under
a busy interstate bridge, a profanely large
flat-screen TV box,
a pair of sagging black military boots
from some easy-to-imagine
goth phase, and two full bags of home
The girls were cooperative and playful,
as if they were participants
in a planned community service field trip.
The dad was gravely efficient.
When they drove away, the white house
and irreconcilably empty, except
for a living room
lamp connected to a solicitous timer—on
in the dark, off
in the light, off for the sun, on
for the night, on
and off, on and off—all week long,
and no one—this clockwork token presence
filling such enormous space.