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About this Poem 

“The phrase ‘living room’ or ‘living space’ suggests home, habitat, comfort, but the idea of room to live can also carry a sinister charge. Neighborhoods bring people together, but they also divide. Certain things that we embrace—family, beliefs, the Internet—purport to bring us closer but are in fact isolating.”
David Yezzi

Living Room

God sees me. I see you. You’re just like me.
       This is the cul-de-sac I’ve longed to live on.
Pure-white and dormered houses sit handsomely

along the slate-roofed, yew-lined neighborhood.
       Past there is where my daughters walk to school,
across the common rounded by a wood.

And in my great room, a modest TV
     informs me how the earth is grown so small,
ringed in spice routes of connectivity.

My father lived and died in his same chair
       and kept it to one beer. There’s good in that.
Who could look down upon, or even dare

to question, what he managed out of life?
       Age makes us foolish. Still, he had a house,
a patch of grass and room to breathe, a wife.

It’s my house now, and I do as I please.
       I bless his name. I edge the yard, plant greens.
Our girls swing on the porch in a coming breeze.
 

Copyright © 2015 by David Yezzi. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 10, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by David Yezzi. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 10, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

David Yezzi

David Yezzi

David Yezzi is the author of Birds of the Air (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2013). He teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.