My Apartment

My apartment

I’ve written so many poems

about my little apartment,
what’s one more?

This poem is about the lady

two floors up, who forgot,

or didn’t care to take

her Christmas decorations down.
I didn’t care myself, but
I heard the neighbours talking

one night over barbeque

in the back of the building.
How they think she makes

the apartment look bad,

makes it look like one of

those welfare apartments

with poor people whose

children run around all hours

of the night and scratch cars

with their bikes in the parking lot.

I nodded my head, not so much

in agreement, but because

I thought if I defended

the old lady who forgot

to take her Christmas
decorations down, I’d be left

out of the barbeque. And
those hamburgers looked delicious.
It was a couple months

after the barbeque when
I was coming home from work
and decided to go up there

myself and see what was up

with the tinsel and lights

still up in the window.
I knocked once, twice, and

when she didn’t answer

after my third and final knock,
I called the police.

Turns out my hunch was right,

and the old lady

wasn’t an incompetent

neighbour, no, she up and died

in there and I heard rumour

months later, that’d she been dead

in there since November.
But the neighbours shrugged it off,

saying, that’s what life is like

when you get old: you don’t

know anybody, all your friends

die around you, or live away,

and move on with their lives

and most seniors find themselves

alone after their loved ones

have passed, and a good amount

of seniors commit suicide.
Not out of boredom, but fear.

Well that got me thinking,

and I spent that night awake

scared of growing old, taking

notice for the first time
of the seconds ticking
on the clock. I took the batteries out,
and busied myself
until the sun came up
and the streets came to life, and then
I walked the four blocks
to the university campus

and put up ads,
looking for a room-mate.
—Tyler Bigney

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Tyler Bigney was born in 1984. He lives, and writes in Nova Scotia, Canada. His work appears in The Meadow, Poetry New Zealand, Third Wednesday, and Neon, among others. He has been nominated for two pushcart prizes.

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