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The Fence in Our Back Yard

Some of the boards have lichen on them
in the sun-starved corners
There’s a length that’s been replaced
along the east-facing section

The new wood planks abut the old,
adding a sense of acceptance
to the persistence of renewal

We’ve hung some of my mother’s yard ephemera
in various places along the weathered fencing
Talavera moons and sunbursts, even a gecko!
Cheerily colored wood and tin birdhouses too. No real order,
but placed where these things seemed to need to be

All the generations of avian families my mother watched
make homes in these well-worn roosts have gone away
Her memories of them went away with her too

I can feel her memories, the shelter and the peace
I imagine she always found when observing these things
in her garden, when I look out our back door

Watching the small, but determined House Finch
sort out the perfect twigs for the remodel
of her brightly painted home with the rusty tin roof

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Last few words: 
An excersise in loss and finding the tools to fend off grief.
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


little poem of recalibration in life. The going on without a loved one. How beautiful little memories can be, when they are combined with a renewal of a bird-house and mending of a fence, that encompassed your Mother's joy. Excellent without becoming maudlin and morose. ~ Geez.

This must be the place, 'cause there ain't no place like this place anywhere near this place

Thanks Geez! Always a bit of a tightrope to keep a poem from being morose and depressing for the reader when writing about dealing with grief. Appreciate your thoughts sir!


Michael Anthony

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