Grand Expensive Vista

By Andrew Hudgins b. 1951 Andrew Hudgins
As we sipped and mingled,
with oldfangled
canapés and beguiled,
or entertained at least, by gargled
oldies, I disengaged
and angled
across grass tenderly groomed,
past where electric tiki torches gleamed,
and, alone, gazed,
now truly beguiled,
at my hosts’ grand
expensive vista, mortgaged,
yes, and, yes, remortgaged.
A low gold
moon glowed
against a plush black sky gauzed,
even filigreed,
with stars. Gowned
in old-growth oaks glazed
with moonlight over their autumn gilt,
the hills glowed
in concord with the golden moon. I lingered,
glad—discomfited and glad—
at what my friends’ greed
for beauty afforded me. I argued,
self against self, what they’d gained
and lost, and me with them, entangled
as friendship entangles. I nearly groaned
aloud with want before my friend grabbed
my elbow. “Gorgeous, eh?” I grinned
and agreed,
my voice greased
with hidden envy. From behind us, grilled
sirloin, pedigreed
meat sublimating on embers, triggered
another hunger. Life was not just good,
but too good:
aged beef, aged wine after bourbon. We hungered,
and all the way back to his engorged
glass table, hunger was our guide.

Source: Poetry (May 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2010
 Andrew  Hudgins


Poet Andrew Hudgins was born in Killeen, Texas, in 1951. The eldest son in a military family, Hudgins moved around the American South for much of his childhood, eventually attending Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1983. His poetry is known for its dark humor, formal control, and adept handling of voice. Hudgins’s first book, Saints and Strangers (1986), was . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.