Friday, July 3, 2009



by Barbara Kussow
(Published in Kaleidoscope, Akron, OH Summer/Fall 2005)

"Good fences make good neighbors." - The Mending Wall, by Robert Frost

The cottonwood tree
that towers taller than our house
conspires with the wind
to scatter its autumn leaves
beyond our backyard fence
to our neighbor's well-kept lawn.

I wonder if they grumble
over their evening meal, saying
"We should ask them to rake our yard!"
Our good wooden fence does not suffice.

The knotted rope that holds the gate,
my autistic son cleverly unties
lacking that, there is the door
he slyly unbolts
to visit another deck
where he is not welcome

It reminds him of another
where he sat for hours
transfixed by the dance of leaves
and limbs against the sky
that has no property lines.

Our good wooden fence does not suffice.

Copyright 2005, Barbara Kussow