by Richard Dinges, Jr.

    They crowd around the lines of tables,
    lift a finger or eyebrow, nod to the chant
    of the auctioneer, stamp down grass
    at the end of the crushed grass path
    that leads along the side of the house,
    smothered by the herd.
    ____________They gather
    to the quilts, dishes, a mounted doll,
    excited glitter of glassware to chattered
    numbers, while the old man leans
    against the back door to gaze out
    across the yard that never looked
    the same as now. Swings rust beneath
    towering trees and bushes that need pruning.
    He steps back when a woman passes cradling
    his wife's can opener in her arms.
    __________________________Next door
    the neighbor man stands on his deck above
    it all, to survey the yards. He looks for his
    daughter's return to his home, his family
    ready to sit again at the table for evening
    meal, to gather her into himself before
    sun sets behind cloud's haze. He turns
    his back on the sale and the old man watches
    while his home passes out from the yard.

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