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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 7: March 2021
Poem: 97 words [R]
By Alexis Rotella

The Good Neighbor

whose yard is overgrown with weeds 
stands at my front door 
with a white orchid. 
He tells me he’s wearing 
a mask only because 
I believe in them. 

His Lock Her Up sweatshirt 
is gravy stained 
and despite the orchid 
in his hand 
I wonder if what he’s really thinking 
is lock me up and lock up 
my garden Buddha 
and throw in the goddess with 
a thousand arms, too. 

Behind his big boom of a voice, 
slightly muffled 
by stars and stripes, 
is a suffering 
the deepest part of me 
may never understand. 



—The day after writing this poem in January 2021, the poet debuted it during editor Tim Green’s interview with her for Rattlecast #75 (at 16:55 in the video); poem is published here with Ms. Rotella’s permission.


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