The porchlight coming on again,
Early November, the dead leaves
Raked in pies, the wicker swing
Creaking. Across the lots
A phonograph is playing Ja-Da.
An orange moon. I see the lives
Of neighbors, mapped and marred
Like all the wars ahead, and R.
Insane, B. with his throat cut,
Fifteen years from now, in Omaha.
I did not know them then.
My airedale scratches at the door.
And I am back from seeing Milton Sills
And Doris Kenyon. Twelve years old.
The porchlight coming on again.
-Weldon Kees, 1954.
[Alice Day Boyesen and unidentified woman eating cake on porch. ca. 1925. Img MNHS.]