Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part Four: Time and Eternity 130. There's been a death in the opposite house

There's been a death in the opposite house

As lately as to-day.

I know it by the numb look

Such houses have alway.

The neighbors rustle in and out,

The doctor drives away.

A window opens like a pod,

Abrupt, mechanically;

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.