"It is what it is." They say this often in Pennsylvania.


A Rooster's Song

Neighbor and rooster
shared company with pride
when the shadow stepped in
with no ceremony
and swung the scythe.
Death came with pain
searing the chest
and mind with knowledge
of the beginning and end
and of waste with
the flicker of solace
that he was a man
for all seasons,
seeing strangely,
the face of Fidel Castro.


His wife missed him
after forty-five minutes
and went to the coup
to find him lifeless,
his jaw set with defiance,
eyes wide with grief
as Pavarotti finishing
Nessun Dorma.
Vincero! Vincero!
Victory at last.


“No!” She exploded in tears.
“It was not your time!”
She wailed.
“Mother?”
The daughter shouted.
“Call 911!” She screamed.
She lunged and pressed
his face to her huge breasts,
to resurrect manhood
in the technique of the past. .
The rooster strutted,
shifting his opaline eyes
in all directions.
Their castle stood ornate
for the golden years,
light everywhere,
with dinner in the oven.


The street spun
in blue and red
as a siren moaned.
I came over and saw the
straight line migrating
across the heart monitor
and again without a spike.
“There is no heart beat.”
The voice was matter of fact.
She became calm in disbelief.
“He was a great guy,” I told her.
She stared like she didn't know me.


They wheeled him out
and I followed the gurney.
“What do you need?”
The fireman was annoyed.
“I'm the neighbor.”
The only one to see him off
as heart massage was performed
to go through the motions –
tradition in Pennsylvania --
where people are allowed
to die.
I looked into his face
expecting him to sit up
and say something
as his white belly
jiggled in the moonlight.


He was a good neighbor,
the Pope of the neighborhood,
sharing a porch with others
sitting out albeit
with pronouncements.
“Get off that ladder you old fool!”
He yelled at me a week ago.
Who's calling who old now?
Ha Ha. I remembered things.
He brought me a plate from
his Labor Day bar-b-cue
and Memorial day bar-b-cue.
I labored mightily
through that soul food
of hard pork chops and stiff
macaroni and cheese.
I remembered him
using the word “neighbor”
as a verb.


I ate much yogurt
and many apples
for a few weeks
and read Deuteronomy
for rules to live by.
Acquiring knowledge,
I felt filthy
as the rooster crowed
at 5 AM.




Poetry by Peter J. Kautsky
Read 273 times
Written on 2017-04-24 at 03:51

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