American Pastoral

Say goodbye to black-eyed Susans, long sea
grasses. Late-evening barbecues, children
digging in the sand, the praying mantis.
Put away your binoculars. Even
the birds are hiding for a better
season. One of us joined a support group
or is leaving the marriage. Another
needs to change meds. Teenagers are virtual-
dating. No need for soliloquy. We’ve
mastered the grand art of text. I’m sorry
the beloved beach house was foreclosed. No matter.
Soon we’ll gather in darkness. Kiss. Pour over-
zealous goblets. Later the children will
mock us. Someone will want to play charades.

Jill Bialosky’s new collection of poems, The Players, will be published early next year.
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