Teddy Sutton always liked old books
He recited the funny poem he found
etched in the leathery folio in Grandma Sutton's attic
Down the ladder he came, his eyes bright
Opened Grandma's throat with a kitchen knife
"Odd child" whispered the neighbors

Many felt chills, heard murmurs, thought thoughts
They dismissed them as nerves, stress, an early fall
Hattie Kendall feeds her bridge club a pie made from
a stray cat. She giggles when no one realizes
Thomas Benson notices blemishes on his skin that
coalesce into swirls, symbols, warts, eyes
And Doyle Cooder's dog grows two extra tongues

Maggie Jacobsen chants hymns to murder during church
Ed Pryor burns down his house
Things get worse and worse, bit by bit
Obscured whispers from sewer grates, flocks of black wasps
A spreading fascination with bleak prophecy

Saturday night starts quiet
People start coming out in the street after dark
Ethel Powell eases her old bones onto the sidewalk
Nancy Blue and her kids speak in a guttural language as
the oldest Tellerton boy cuts out Ethel's heart
Everyone sings, howls, rages, shrieks
Ranting, chanting, moaning, crying
Red blood, red blood, blood, blood, blood

A great wind rises, the streetlamps die, our
chittering goes silent

Everyone waits


There's a fence or a hedge around every yard
Every house is a separate kingdom
Fat little suburban monarchs
Roosters ruling their roosts
They roll out each morning in their cars
To return in the evening to TV and dinners
Prepared by their dutiful automaton wives
In this wasteland disguised as a paradise
Elliott and E.T. rolling down the street
And the dogs bark and bark and bark
There is no place in suburbia for beauty
It would disturb the stability of the yards
The yards, the yards
Where the dogs bark, and the grass grows
Grows, like black weeds curling round their hearts
Cold hearts, as they always will be
In suburbia

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