Our neighbor next door is the best I could ask for. She is truly lovely. As a bonus, her husband is a police officer, a friendly one, and I feel safe having them next door. She and I always say hello to one another with small check ins. “Hows your grandmother?” She always asks and I always goo goo over the little ones she has over to visit her. She’s genuine and generous and never complains about the noise we make. And we make a lot. We both garden and share harvests over our seven foot tall fence. In fact, the only time I usually say hello to her is once I climb the three steps to my porch so I can see over and give a wave and a greeting.
The other day she passed over a broken plank with the nail stuck in it. A small piece had broken off at the bottom. “I have some other extra fence pieces if you want a new one to fix it.” I plunked the old piece back in and told her it’d be fine but before our conversation was over, she offered again, leaving me perplexed. It all reminded me of Frost’s Mending Wall:
I felt like piping up that day:
“Good fences make good neighbors!”
and I’m sure she’d laugh, misreading the old adage’s intent.
But what I mean to say is:
This fence and missing piece replaced
will not keep out the rabbits,
they have already dug underneath.
Nor will it keep out the sound of your crying grandson,
or our Karaoke machine when we get it blasting.
I’m sure you must tire of hearing our same three favorite songs.
You’ve invited me into your garden, generously offered of your harvest,
an invitation with no expiration
and I’ve given you the same.
But something keeps me, and you, from venturing over.
Don’t you see?
Good fences make good neighbors.
From the Daily Post: Fence