There’s been a death in the opposite house
As lately as today.
I know it by the numb look
Such houses have alway.
The neighbours rustle in and out,
The doctor drives away.
A window opens like a pod,
Somebody flings a mattress out, –
The children hurry by;
They wonder if It died on that, –
I used to when a boy.
The minister goes stiffly in
As if the house were his,
And he owned all the mourners now,
And little boys besides;
And then the milliner, and the man
Of the appalling trade,
To take the measure of the house.
There’ll be that dark parade
Of tassels and of coaches soon;
It’s easy as a sign, –
The intuition of the news
In just a country town.