The Fence

November 23, 2008
By Bret Sherman, Westfield, IN

Like woods lying against a sunset background,
They sit there, taunting,
In many shapes, forms, materials.

To the neighbors, they are a sign of protection,
guarding one’s property, such as
A knight guards his castle.
They exclaim ‘This is mine’,
But at all times,

To the owner, they are a superiority complex.
They are the owner’s certificate of recognition,
Or their first place trophy,
Or their gold medal,
Or their major award.

Sometimes, they say ‘Back Off!’,
And with the attitude of a rabid badger.
Sometimes they electrocute,
Lightning burning through the fingertips
Like a forest fire through the pines and conifers.
And sometimes they stab,
Reminding those trapped by them
That they are where they belong.

But children see them from a different perspective,
As they do many things,
And do not understand, but try to anyway.
They are the symbol of childhood adventure,
Of games of pretend,
Running wildly among the houses and through the yards,
In an imaginary Stand By Me scenario,
Searching for the “dead body”,
Their youth.
O! their ways are strange,
So different by thought
From person to person,
But then again,
Aren’t we?

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