Neighbors, Repeated

Welcome to my neighborhood.
Let me introduce you
To my neighbors.
Some you probably know
From my Morning Farm Reports.
First there are my dearest neighbors
Sue and Charlie
Who were my mentors in all things rural
And rescued me from the snakes and raccoons,
Also neighbors,
one loved and one feared.
There are the cows
Those neighbors we call “The Girls”
Who peer over the neighboring fence
Eyeing my delicious begonias
And always greener grass
Or so they believe.
There are the birds of the neighborhood
Too numerous to enumerate
Who come to eat at
What my neighbor Jill
Calls Bev’s Neighborhood MCL.
There is the elementary school
Down the road
The children’s voices echoing
In the neighborhood
At their break times, or
Mixing with the roar of the busses
Come to let them off
Or pick them up
Yellowing our neighborhood
With their colorful bodies.
There is my back pasture
Where the neighbors cross to
Visit the farm,
Or their children take
As a short cut to the school,
Sometimes forgetting to secure the gate
And then the other neighbor horses
Buck and Mare (neighing, of course),
And sometimes some of The Girls,
Come over to try out the
Greener grass.
Occasionally chickens or pigs
Will also come on over,
Considering my home
Just a larger part of their
Own neighborhood.
Wandering around to see what’s what
And, of course, if there is anything
Delicious to eat.
The deer are also neighbors,
My yard and the pastures their
Own fertile neighborhood
Where the small packs
Come to graze and take dessert
On my budding daylilies and
Sue and Charlie’s jonquils.
Coyotes are also neighbors,
Sniffing through the pasture
For moles and shrews,
Delicious dinner,
Especially if a new litter
Of these canine neighbors
Is on its way.
Meet the Amish family
Who lived at The Farm
For a while.
Quiet and fascinating neighbors
Laboring, stooped in their blue and white,
Planting and weeding the garden
They planted to carry food to the Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday in their horse and buggy.
There is Ben, the beautiful big black Percheron,
Who lies buried in the east/west pasture,
Put in that spot by Sue and Charlie
So we all could gaze at him from our windows
As we did when he was alive
And grazing in the pasture,
A very good neighbor still.
And, of course, as every neighborhood
Has its nefarious resident
There is The Worm
(Also named by neighbor Jill)
Who felled a tree without
Checking with the utilities people
And knocked out my electricity
And my internet.
Who cut through my gas line
And claimed he could fix it
(Without an explosion?
I asked him)
Who shoots his guns
Near my backyard
With nary a care for the neighborhood
Endangering my neighbor Jill
And me.
Still, all in all, it’s a wonderful neighborhood
Where most of us live in harmony
And peace.
Good fences; good neighbors.
Bev Hartford

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