The Enormous Room

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
decorating magazines.

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
sat simply

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,
for nothing

and no one—this clockwork token presence
filling such enormous space.


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