Fences

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It was a neat little house—
No one could deny that.
Very tidy,
No lawn ornaments out of place,
Hedges clipped to perfection.
The paint on its white picket fence never chipped.

Other suburban homes surrounded it,
And one could see it wasn’t much different.
It seemed the only thing it lacked was originality, taste.
Its inhabitants didn’t mind,
They appreciated the thought of fitting in,
It was nice to be part of something for once, they thought.

But they didn’t really fit in.
The other homes looked on in jealousy,
Their own ferns remained uncontrolled,
Overgrown tree branches tapped the windows,
Whispering their good mornings and good nights.
The flowers didn’t even want to conform,
Expanding past the imitating fences of the phony homes.

Then, one day, the winds spun out of control.
Gathering into a whirlwind of surging power,
They tore at the perfect house.
They snapped its cherry tree’s branches,
Uprooted the trimmed hedges,
Swallowed the blossoming petunias.

Having mussed up the yard, they turned to the house itself.
The winds pried it open with its merciless fingers,
Rearranging furniture like Barbie’s dream house.
Barbie’s car was snatched up only to be
Regurgitated unto what was left of the home.
The twister, satisfied with its meal, leaves.

The neighbors creep out of their storm cellars,
Their eyes lay upon the heap of ruble and debris.
There, erect before their flabbergasted faces stood the fence.
The only surviving reminder of their envy.
The only reminder of how easily
One can fall so far down
From so far up.





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