Poem about fellowship: The Garden Fence

November 12, 2020

Collage by Exposure with dove image by michel kwan and fence image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

Jaimin L. Symonds Patel explores what it might take for humanity to live harmoniously

Two neighbours.
Each on either side of their garden fence.
On a hot summer’s day one might bring out the barbecue
And roast some lustrous meat upon the grill.
Juices oozing and the most enticing scent rising up to the sky,
Drifting, of course, to the other side of the fence.

And who would anyone be to refuse an invitation
To take part in the enjoyment of such a feast.
Dishes exchanged and jolly chat engaged,
On a hot summer’s day.

When the excitement of the golden sun might halt,
And days of a more regular sort turn up,
One neighbour might run into trouble.
A stubborn weed, a burst tyre, a broken tool.
And over the usual medium of communication,
Voices would dance over the tops of the fence,
Offering advice with the friendly gesture of gratitude.

When one neighbour might seek help,
No neck is too short to peep over
The fence between them.
When one neighbour sees that their day has surplus fortune,
No arm fails to extend over that fence.

It does hinder the passing of succulent meat freshly grilled,
But the fence may indeed not be a bad thing entirely.
Differences are not ignorable,
But to what avail, does the fence mean to brush
Those differences under the rug, safely without discussion.

So if too, those neighbours might then have families,
Harbour people more than just a few,
Some millions on either side.
And if too, the fence itself,
May be slightly thicker than the standard wooden board,
Each garden just an ocean or two apart.

Then, what might it take
For those two neighbours,
To pick up some claw hammers,
And pull out the nails
That were hammered into those wooden planks,
Long ago.

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