The fence between our neighbouring ground
has slipped into disrepair. I stand and think
how long it’s been like this. The posts
are rotting, winter rains washing them away
until the cycle is complete, atom by atom,
and will not slow when Spring idles in.
A fire would speed it up, but the overgrowth
and nurtured land may suffer. I know that
creatures shuttle day and night along the boundary
ridge, using their claws to grip their right of way,
hastening the decay. I seldom see the man next door;
his curtains stay three-quarters shut; he burns candles
for his creed and when we meet he can only talk
of his preferred certainty, not of everyday tasks
like fixing a fence. I have to do this alone.
With sturdy gloves and long-handled axe
I’ll show what’s got to be done and bring him
to his senses. It will be a small victory.
John Lawrence is retired, lives in Worcestershire, and tries to write lighthearted poems which often turn out darker than intended, for some reason. Counselling would probably fix it but, for now, his view is that the pen is mightier than the shrink’s couch.