Finger on the Switch

by Paul Hooker

Midnight moonlight silvers grass
mowed and trimmed for one last time
before the cold sets in.

Perfect square of wooden fence
standing sentinel at the border
between suburban kingdoms

Light through plastic blinds next door,
bedroom sounds between the bars
recall what might have been

but never was—the mistress never had,
the mountain never climbed, the piano
played but never well,

the poem taunting from the desk,
conceived but never quite complete,
the finger on the switch

connected to the wires that run
to the bomb behind the eyes that
will blow it all to bits—

until the dog finishes urinating
in the corner, begs to be let in,
and settles back to sleep.