Neighbors

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this poem when I was living in Colorado and inadvertently learned that a couple a few doors down was dealing with cancer in the family, the father there and an adult son living in another state. There were no external clues of what they were going through and they weren't talking about it, just seemed to be going through their normal routine with the usual "wonder how long this snow will be around" kind of chatter. This revelation prompted thought about other unexpected situations I had encountered in different places I've lived and news I'd heard about neighbors after either they or I had moved.

Submitted: October 14, 2016

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Submitted: October 14, 2016

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Neighbors

 

Who are

the people you live next to, really?

In their driveway

On the street

All smiles.

Quick to come

With a shovel

To dig your car out of an icy rut,

Bring you soup and muffins when you are sick,

Pick up your mail, your paper, your trash

if you are away.

But . . .

 

Do you see a different face

If you stop by on a whim?

Do they shoo you inside

Offering drinks,

Or instead look puzzled

Behind a locked screen door

Eyebrows arched—“Yes?”

 

Do expensive drapes

Block hidden pain

From cancer treatments

The sudden death of a child or

Bruises from another?

 

Who is your neighbor, really, and why should you care?


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