Open House

Robert Lietz

They come on foot to make my afternoon,
the children by threes, in wagons
their mothers tug, to homes their old men
might buy cheap enough.
I pour the salsa on. I watch them crowd the truck
for lunch the company provides,
and see the wind-sped ash, the scraps
of wrappers
like spun-dials rising up from game-boards,
settling again on clumps
and into buttoned

Another March to raise my doubt, remembering
houses the village burned
to keep the older kids outdoors,
the unlovely far,
tucked out of sight in shelters. I see,
in the equation's fluttering,

a foot-bridge swaying between terms,
and, in the season's
brisky threats, this people pleased
to sell its gypsies out,
for all the World makes of them,
content to sip
their dark roast's bittersweet,
to find the old ropes
more or less

And in this other March, beheld
in drivers' eyes,
in the kids' eyes, up for grabs,
they keep their larders stocked,
their walled homes guaranteed, a people
composed behind
inch-thick filets and chops, behind
their smiling pig's head
and cuts for the stir-fry, a people
to the talk they do around a supper,
over the sweet
pork-lips and brains/wines
pleasing to the twilight
and to evening

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