This week’s poem, Marjorie Arnett’s “The Neighborhood,” is a portrait in miniatures. I love this poem’s distillation, and its vivid, intimately observed glimpses of a place and its inhabitants.

Arnett is a studio artist, published playwright and poet. She served as dean of the College of Fine Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Belfast.

The Neighborhood
By Marjorie Arnett

An inchworm
rides on the ear
of a calico cat.

A hammer
beats staccato
on the roof next door.

An Ore-ida potato chip can
worn as a helmet on a child’s head
rides by on a blue bicycle.

An old dog
wags hello
asking permission to be young again.

Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. ”The Neighborhood,” © 2016 by Marjorie Arnett, is reprinted from “Chicago Woman Made Gallery: Paintings & Poems.” It appears by permission of the author.

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