A sterilized sanctuary
with parade-ground lawns.
No place to spit
No flotsam and jetsam,
or picnic detritus around.

Hydrants painted yellow
to pollinate flowers.
Houses like castles
without any moats.

Stillness resounds,
like a confederacy
of monks hunkered down,
with bell of the temple
missing a clapper.

Cherry trees droop
and never bear fruit,
even the crows do not squawk,
tip-toeing on grass
they’re forbidden to shit on.

A Wall Street Journal
on every step,
ADT and Brinks
on every door.
No sign of the poor.

Neighborhood Watch
is strictly in force.
You will be towed
at your own expense.
Mailboxes on lockdown.
Vandals at bay.

Faceless apparitions
wrapped in white light
reach for the farthermost stars
listening to Yanni’s “Nostalgia”
as if they never left.