By Clemens Starck

new neighbors
building a house up on the hill …
she raises goats. He works at the pen.
From my back door
it’s thirty miles, as the crow flies,
over the mountains to the coast. it used to be
i could imagine
walking it – unimpeded.
no fences. nothing but deer trails and logging roads.

now i’m surrounded by neighbors.

Which is better: seeking the recluse
in the mountains, and finding he’s not at home, or helping the goat-lady
rig up a new wooden pedestal
for our mailboxes?