Picket Fences

Why is it a happy domestic life is termed in ‘picket fences’?

Two point five kids, and stripes mowed into grass?

I don’t want that, I want open spaces

Muddy labouring, and back alley go kart races.

That’s what we had as children,

feral hair and dirt smeared, war painted faces,

climbing hay bails and where adults didn’t make the rules,

because our life happened outside of schools.

I come back now to the place I grew up,

walking round the yard, the quarry,

the lakes reflecting the tranquility,

of a free upbringing, and education sharpened mental acuity.

The freedom of owning the land,

that you walk on in any direction.

You don’t get that in a city life,

So crammed together, living in them’s a modern vice .

Here you’re away from prying eyes,

you can relax into a natural existence.

Our breed wasn’t born for confinement,

We make the rules, control our own retirement.

I have a problem though,

the shoes I walk in are too big for me.

Not enough to be uncomfortable,

but an ‘adult size’ was something non adjustable.

I’ve never actually paid attention to what I dressed in clothes,

but bought a numbered size,

That seemed appropriate at the time for my idea of ‘adult’s feet’,

but now that habit has left me feeling a gap of being incomplete.

I walk around the tranquil lakes,

with big shoes to fill,

my feet sliding ever so slightly.

walking on land, designed for me.

that tree was planted ‘for me’,

the lake was dug ‘for me’,

he works so hard ‘for me’,

and it makes the places no less beautiful to be.

But the tranquility is lost,

sliding around in my shoes,

I’ve been given space, spared the suffocating shrink wrapping,

but now I have to fill it, and it’s daunting.

Photo by Randy Fath

Categories: Poetry

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