Friday, May 31, 2013

keep off the grass

you owned the neighborhood as a kid
wandering from yard to yard
never considering
such inconsequential matters as privacy
or the vague intricacies of lawn care
it was all yours, except
for the yard belonging to that mean man
the one every street had
the one who didn’t let you walk
on his immaculately groomed grass
and who called your mother if he ever caught you
he was the one your parents even thought
was kind of a jerk
except they never said it, of course
never agreed with you, of course
but, as they reprimanded you
telling you for the umpteenth time
to stay away from his yard
or you’d be confined indefinitely to your own
significantly reducing the size and scope
of the entire universe
they seemed to exchange secret, knowing looks
as if perhaps, remembering
their own childhoods
their own mean men
they secretly understood, maybe
they sympathized in silent camaraderie
when you moaned about how unfair it was
because he had the nicest grass to play on 


Nancy's Point said...

Oh my gosh, this reminded me of an old woman who lived next door to my grandparents' house. When growing up and visiting them, my siblings and I were deathly afraid of her as she yelled at us to keep out of her garden. She would often times have her rake in hand while yelling at us and sometimes raked at the sidewalk. We were, of course, petrified, but also sort of exhilarated if that makes sense. We sometimes dared ourselves to set her off. My goodness, I hadn't thought of that in years. Great poem! Thank you.

Kayleigh said...

Nancy -- thank you, I'm so glad you liked it. I'm telling you, every street seemed to have its version of the mean neighbor, lol. Ours was right nextdoor, and he was so surly that he put up a sign that said "NO TURNING" so folks wouldn't turn around in his perfectly smooth driveway -- but we lived on a dead end and no one ever did anyway! Ah the memories of childhood ;P

Bobby said...

Every yard represented something. We lived on the main road coming into the neighborhood. It felt like our porch was a stage and the audience was the endless flow of drivers.

Kayleigh said...

Bobby...I love that image, so evocative of that child mentality -- thanks for sharing it :)

Kathe W. said...

gosh I was lucky! We had great neighbors! Have a lovely day!

Kayleigh said...

Yes, you were lucky, Kathe -- altho most of our neighbors were nice too, pretty much just the one was a little, well, he's the guy that inspired the poem so you get the picture, lol.

Have a wonderful day yourself!