carey scott wilkerson /GATED COMMUNITY

Image by Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn.

Gated Community

The three little pigs are at home tonight
in a newly-reinforced townhouse, safe

from the world’s dangers. They are surrounded
by smart and friendly people of good will

whose polite, bilingual children all love
the pigs’ quiet grace and uncluttered style.

They have even attended barbeques
by self-cleaning salt-water pools. Why not?

Life is good in an exclusive address:
there are no big problems, and no bad news.

Yet when the head of the neighborhood watch
is reported missing, the sky turns wild,

first heaving, then pulsing with gale-force wind.
News footage shows nice, respectable homes

blown off their foundations, clean parallel
streets spun into knots, blasted to ruin.

The three little pigs, pursued by some old
and exquisite menace now find themselves

squealing in carnival terror, grunting
obscenities into thick, sweet mud,

ripping up azaleas, wolfing down slop:
bungling on the patio, defecating on the lawn.

Tomorrow, surveying the damage, they
might well be observed clutching three little

Bibles, fat faces grim with empathy,
their tears of joy disguised by morning rain.

Carey Scott Wilkerson is author of the poetry collection, Threading Stone, two poetry chapbooks, and is editor of the poetry anthology—Stone, River, Sky—from Negative Capability Press. His play, Seven Dreams of Falling, premiered in 2013 in Los Angeles and is published by Black Box Press. His plays, Ariadne in Exile and The Revised Daignosis of the Moinotaur’s Head, are both published by Negative Capability Press. His operetta, Ariadne in Exile, will have its European premiere in Frankfurt in 2017. He holds an MA from Auburn University, an MFA from Queens University, Charlotte, teaches at Columbus State University, and is working on his PhD at Georgia State University.