great aunt

who moved
to Sun City
to live with
her 3rd husband
a retired driver for
Consolidated Freightways
told me that she
found a coiled rattler
near her pool slider
and a scorpion
sleeping on the gravel path
alongside her garage
and she suspected that
wild animals had
infected Demetrius’
food bowl
(her Pomeranian)
and that Nip’s
water dish
(her Siamese)
was compromised
in some way
she said that
the lifestyle
that she had imagined
when she was a girl
growing up in
Manhattan, Kansas
had evaded her
and now
as she approached
age sixty seven
her expectations had collapsed
due to the uncertain
and turbulent
housing market
and the unavailability
of jobs in the
hospitality industry
and she told me
quite discretely
that she suspected
anti-government activity
in the desert south of town