Encounter with a Neighbor

Joyce Wilson

I met him on the empty cattle walk.

We knew that he had planned to go away.

I was surprised when he began to talk

To me with sorrow that he could not stay,

That he was going to Jerusalem

Where he would live and work on a kibbutz

and learn from people who would counsel him

To match religion with his politics.

Blue clouds assembled like cathedral domes.

The field would give a church its corner stone,

The farm a plot for tracts of showy homes,

And soon it would be hard to be alone.

Joyce Wilson

Joyce Wilson has taught English at Suffolk University and Boston University. Her first poetry collection, The Etymology of Spruce, and a chapbook, The Springhouse, both appeared in 2010. She is creator and editor of the magazine on the internet, The Poetry Porch (www.poetryporch. com), which has been online since 1997. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals, among them Alabama Literary Review, American Arts Quarterly, and Ibbetson Street Magazine.


I met him on the empty cattle walk. We knew that he had planned to go away. I was surprised when he began to talk To me with sorrow that he could not stay, That he was going to Jerusalem Where he would live and work on a kibbutz and learn from people who would …

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