#422: My Neighbor Digs a Hole (a poem on April 17, 2022)

My neighbor digs a hole, a big one,
in his back yard. I’ve met him.
He seems like a good guy and he
has a beautiful Husky and runs
a care facility for elderly folk on
the top floor of his basement
apartment. Of course, I wonder,
why is he digging such a gigantic
hole? It was raining and he was
wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
At first I worry. You know,
people can seem nice enough
and then the next thing you know
they’re burying dead bodies in their
back yards. Or maybe his dog died?
Do people still bury dead pets
in their back yards? In thirty-six
years, my wife and I have never
buried a dead pet in the yard.
I’m happy a couple of days
later to see the Husky running
around in back, and also happy,
but puzzled, to find out why
he’s dug such a great hole.
He’s buried in said hole a gigantic
tractor tire, you know, half way
under the dirt and half exposed.
I’m thinking, well, that’s a very odd
lawn ornament. I think I would
prefer gnomes. A gigantic tire
emerging from the dirt. To each
his own, I say, and then I start
to worry a bit about my neighbor.
I imagine that in a week’s time
he will have planted a half dozen
tractor tires in his yard, a tractor
tire garden, if you will. But today,
finally, on Easter Sunday, the purpose
of the tractor tire is revealed.
Some people are runners and others
are bicyclists, while still others prefer
going to gyms. This neighbor of mine,
he goes out there this morning with
an enormous hammer–like a sledge
hammer, and he starts beating
the tire–like he’s chopping wood,
high, forceful swings, over and over
again, the slam on the rubber each time
reverberating through the neighborhood
like a car door slam, only more rubbery.
He’s just working out, I say. That’s nice.
He’s just working out.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

2 thoughts on “#422: My Neighbor Digs a Hole (a poem on April 17, 2022)

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