He trimmed their hedges

And they watered his curiosity,

Nosy neighbor

With an ear trumpet,

Like an old Victrola needle listening

To a seventy-eight rpm record,

Scratching scratching for a sound.

Blemish on a character,

A sin, an outlandish scrutinizing

Of neighbor’s conversations.


Do not think they don’t notice—

Five o’clock in a morn, or twilight,

And lip reading when a window’s closed,

He beckons words with eyes cocked,

Chip on a shoulder when a shade’s down.

Then he’ll call with a church smile,

Flicking kindness over a bramble—

Just to make sure he’s considered a nice neighbor;

More a hypocrite dodging silence,

Boggling some sort of apology.


The yowl, the maddening,

His arms crossed like a two year old;

A figure spreading himself thin, like butter

Parading itself on moldy bread.

Stone face of a man murmuring utterances

Under his breath, white smoke

Circling over his head;

His wifey trying to cipher his mood

To his unutterable chagrin;

His cold stare freezing her skin, her bone

(Now she’s lost all feeling, how lugubrious).


Copyright © 06/30/18 lance sheridan®

5 comments on “Eavesdropping

  1. kaddietucker says:

    Your words brought to mind some of my nosy ex-inlaws, who enjoyed nothing better that to sow disorder. Great poem, Lance.

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