Angels Move into the House Next Door
Our old neighbors were old. He went first,
but they both smoked, and she died
in her sleep, setting the bed on fire. The house
sold a month later.
The new occupants whitewashed the outside
of the house, even the windows, and planted
the yard with white violets, lilies, and apple trees
that never set fruit. They put in a thick hedge
of briar roses, heavily thorned.
The postman says everything in the house is gold,
but he only saw it once through a crack in the door
and now they have a P.O. box and when there are
packages they shout for the FedEx person
to leave them on the porch.
They are musical. Their doorbell plays a fanfare
of trumpets. We can’t tell how many of them there are
but some nights when the snow is falling they sing in there
and the opaque windows glow like dying lightning bugs.
The words sound familiar but unclear.
They drive a pearl-white stretch Hummer with
a license plate that says HEV N LEE. We don’t know
when they leave, but at midnight they pull back into
their driveway, engine a soft purr, radiator grille
clogged with silver feathers.
They nod politely when they pass us on the sidewalk
and sometimes leave a note asking to borrow
a cup of white sugar or a cup of bleach
for some kind of party they are having
with guests we never see.
©2004 F.J. Bergmann
"Angels Move in to the House Next Door" appeared in MargieThe American Journal of Poetry #4
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