White picket fence


I saw you every Thursday night
As we put out the bins for Friday morn
You’d give me your hundred-watt smile
But your eyes always seemed forlorn

‘How was your day,’ I’d always ask
‘Good thanks,’ was your standard reply
‘See you later,’ you’d add soon after
Leaving me near the fence to wave goodbye

I’d sometimes see you hurry indoors
Your hands full of bags from your car
I knew you had a husband or partner
‘Cause I’d hear him sing and strum the guitar

My Friday nights were quite unlike yours
Home by myself with nothing to do
You had parties and dinners galore
Making me wish I was your friend too

Many a time I thought I’d reach out
Borrow some sugar or a glass of milk
But your immaculate lawn daunted me
As did your fancy car and clothes of silk

I missed the connection neighbours have
To me you were a stranger I sort of knew
Your life I figured out in my own head
Stories I formed were probably far from true

Your screams woke me around midnight
It was a Saturday with your friends again
Startled I turned on my lights and listened
Only to be greeted by the patter of the rain

I didn’t see you for the next few days
Could not find your car on the street
Come Thursday night, I took my bins out again
This time, it was your husband I’d meet

I wanted to ask him where you were
And if it was your scream I’d heard last week
But then I realised I didn’t know your name
Even with my mouth open, I could not speak

We’d been neighbours for almost five years
Divided only by a white picket fence
The reality was a space so much wider
Our complete lack of connection making no sense

© Sanch Vee @ Sanch Writes (27 June 2016)

Inspired by the Daily Prompt ‘Fence‘ and linking with Jess for IBOT***

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  • Dashy
    27 June 2016 at 10:54 pm

    It is sad to see the world getting so busy that they fail to bond with their own neighbors. The trend is growing too…you keep thinking of starting a conversation or paying a visit but get caught up with other things and forget about it. Beautifully expressed in the poem.
    Dashy recently posted…To Magic, with loveMy Profile

  • Rajlakshmi
    27 June 2016 at 11:38 pm

    I was talking about the same thing with my husband, how we are so disconnected. It was so different before, when neighbors were almost like family. Beautifully penned Sanch 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…5 Life Skills I learnt living away from homeMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    28 June 2016 at 1:34 am

    I guess that in the name of politeness, we’ve forgotten how to connect. The balance between nosiness and being neighbourly is hard to find.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…My Cinderella Story #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  • Lydia C. Lee
    28 June 2016 at 7:00 am

    Wow. Great poem. We are all over our neighbours, and the neighbourhood. It’s sort of rare these days, I guess…

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    28 June 2016 at 7:02 am

    This s great Sanch. I don’t know half my neighbours but growing up I knew everyone.
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  • Renee Wilson
    28 June 2016 at 7:15 am

    Beautifully written, Sanch. Sadly, this can quite often be the case with neighbours. We’re lucky where we live at the moment, but other times we’ve had neighbours similar to yours.

  • Amy @ Handbagmafia
    28 June 2016 at 9:09 am

    I rarely get to know neighbours. I just feel shy and awkward, especially knowing what some of mine think about “renters” from local friends 🙁
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  • Kit@life throughthehaze
    28 June 2016 at 4:34 pm

    We have a great st most of us are on first name basis and are absolutely there for each other anytime day or night. We have called our neighbours at 1am as we have raced a child to the hospital to sit with our other two.
    But outside of our little st it isn’t like that and most of our friends don’t know their neighbours at all.
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  • Ami
    28 June 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Sigh! So true and so well brought out by you. I too, need to take this advice and meet my neighbour now.

  • EssentiallyJess
    28 June 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Oh wow. That’s so sad and really so true. So many times we don’t know our neighbours.
    We are quite lucky were we are, but it’s not like it used to be in ‘the olden days.’ I doubt it ever will be again.

    1 July 2016 at 6:17 pm

    So well said, Sanch. I often wonder about people on public transport too. No one seems to chat anymore – too busy listening to music or surfing the net. Take me back to the good old days any day!

  • Kylie Purtell
    4 July 2016 at 12:17 pm

    We know our neighbours, but not very well. Doesn’t help that one side work super hours and the other side are a bit of a hodge-podge of people that come and go helping out the lady who owns the place. The lady who owns the place suffers from schizophrenia and it’s been a bit of a wild ride with her and it’s hard to really get to know her when you’re not sure if what she is telling you is based in reality or not. She’s a lovely lady none-the-less and she did adopt our rabbit when I couldn’t look after him anymore when I was pregnant and couldn’t even go in the backyard without getting sick from the smell!

    Great poem, Sanch. I do miss knowing my neighbours the way we used to when I was a kid.
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    • Sanch, the writer
      4 July 2016 at 9:49 pm

      I miss knowing my neighbours too…I know one lady at a reasonably superficial level in that I will chat with her briefly but I don’t know anyone well enough to say, give my keys to if I’m away and such. It would be hard getting to know your neighbours with the work hours and mental health. Life used to be simpler when we were younger!

  • Mehar
    4 July 2016 at 5:10 pm