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My Neighbor John, Who Is Completely Happy
Marilyn L. Taylor


That moonlit warble in the summer dark
is you, John, singing your way home
from the Rehab Center where you work
evenings-- one out of kilter chromosome
has never slowed you down. Your nightly whoop
floods the neighborhood with so much bliss
that my Dalmatian springs from sleep
and opens up her throat to harmonize
with you-- along with every other canine
in a one-mile radius. Soon the air
is vibrating for blocks with strains
of an unearthly sweetness-- prayers
rising from the bottom of the brain,
an ode to joy, with tabernacle choir.

© by Marilyn L. Taylor.
Used with the author's permission.


Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee, is the author of three full-length collections of poetry (most recently, Outside the Frame: New and Selected Poems) and five poetry chapbooks. Her essays and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals  and she has been awarded First Place in several national, international, and regional poetry competitions.  Marilyn is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and the Wisconsin Writers Association, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Third Wednesday  and Verse-Virtual poetry journals. Learn more about Marilyn who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, at  




Post New Comment:
A salient reminder to love and cherish our neighbors and communities. Simply beautiful!
Posted 07/10/2020 08:40 PM
Wilda Morris:
Wonderful. Just the kind of cheer I need today! Thank you, Marilyn!
Posted 07/10/2020 04:28 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I love this delightful poem. It's like a singalong from the moonlight warble, nightly whoop, Dalmatian and other dogs harmonizing to the Tabernacle choir.
Posted 07/10/2020 04:21 PM
This poem makes me happy. Simply happy.
Posted 07/10/2020 04:14 PM
I love it when the first poem I read in the morning is wonderful. Thank you for this beautiful start to my day.
Posted 07/10/2020 12:25 PM
You made me smile and cry at the same time. I need more of John's joy in my life.
Posted 07/10/2020 10:56 AM
I have a son with an out of kilter chromosome and I agree! Unearthly sweetness. Great poem.
Posted 07/10/2020 10:51 AM
Jean Colonomos-1:
Your poem is a welcomed, eloquent surprise this morning. Thank you.
Posted 07/10/2020 10:33 AM
I just want to sing along with the dogs.
Posted 07/10/2020 09:54 AM
What an interesting poem. Out of kilter chromosome indeed.
Posted 07/10/2020 09:30 AM
A caught moment! I can hear their song. Thanks, Marilyn. M. Zelke Windau
Posted 07/10/2020 09:12 AM
michael escoubas:
Wonderful subject for a most clever take on a sonnet, Marilyn; really like your smooth style, light rhyme-scheme and best of all, a message that fits in great anytime but especially so at THIS time.
Posted 07/10/2020 08:58 AM
I love the joy of this! Aren't we lucky to be witness?
Posted 07/10/2020 06:49 AM
Wonderful, Marilyn. Thank you! Mandi
Posted 07/10/2020 06:28 AM

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