Shenandoah Volume 68, Number 1
Volume 68, Number 1 · Fall 2018

Neighbor Sweeping His Porch

He sweeps, and gray plumes of pollen

cloud waist-high behind him.

My neighbor sweeps the porch as slowly

as a gondolier rows at sunset.

His tie is loose at the neck

but still fastened to his shirt by a clip.

At the edge of the porch, he sweeps

in quick spurts like a telemarketer

before the customer quits.

He sweeps possibly without thinking.

He wears the crown of forgetting.

His kingdom is the name

of that actress in that movie.

He has swept so long

he is last September’s sunlight.

His broom replaces the wet leaves

with order, a second thing like snow.

Keith Leonard is the author of the poetry collection Ramshackle Ode (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). His poems appear in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Program, Verse Daily, and Copper Nickel. Keith has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Indiana University, where he earned an MFA. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.