VOYEUR

Frozen in ice, the leaves

Dance but never leave the ground,

Like brown hair tousled

On the back of a cinnamon bear

Hunched against the wind. Plastic chair

Legs point at the missing board-picket

That begs his curious eyes to peer,

To peek, to see what can be seen

Through that vertical gap, what’s been hidden

In the neighbor’s fenced yard.

Stuck on its arms and knees all winter,

The lawn chair doesn’t consider

The position it’s in, so why does he grin

Like a fool? Why does he linger

In the dark before pulling the curtains,

Search the bedroom window of

The young girl next door—lit

Like a Hitchcock movie? Is his impulse

Purely voyeuristic, or is he

Simply hard-wired to watch, that hunting

Instinct still serving him well?

The pleasure of peeping stirs his throat

And loins when she enters the room,

Stretches, and unbuttons her sweater—

Before she closes the blinds. The reward

Is more than visceral to an aging man

Gray as this February afternoon—

Like the picnic table dissolving

In his back yard, the plight of all

Organic matter. He sees his job

As observation, recounts the scene

In the vain hope that someone might care

To ponder his perspective, his ear,

Or possibly savor his appetites—

And of course there’s always a chance

He could help the blind to see.

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