They lived in an urban terrace,
side by side,
with a stamp-sized front garden
and somewhat larger one
at the back,
complete with washing line
from fence to fence,
a coal bunker
and a tool shed.
It took years to grow
with roses. sweet-scented stock and peonies.
They called each other by their family names,
civilised and polite;
they offered sympathy
and a bowl of sugar,
In all those years,
I can’t remember them ever
venturing inside each others’ houses.
Kim M. Russell, 13th March 2019
My response to Poets United Midweek Motif: Neighbours
Sumana is our host this week, wondering how well connected people are with those close by – the people in their neighbourhood. She tells us about a a Spanish town that granted cats and dogs rights as ‘non-human neighbours’, and a neighbour of her own – a date-palm tree, which she says invited birds and even humans during winter mostly for its sugary juice until one day when there was much hacking and chopping, and it vanished.
Sumana asks us to write neighbour poems and she has inspired us with quotations from W.H. Auden’s, ‘As I Walked Out One Evening’ and from Lawrence Stern, as well as a haiku by Matsuo Basho and poems from Ogden Nash, Charles Tomlinson and Charles Bukowski.