There once was a street on Privacy Lane
With privacy hedges and fences
And double curtains over slatted blinds
To keep up strong defenses.
The residents there lived separate lives,
Focused inward only,
Moving through predictable days,
Stiff, bored, and lonely.
Who should appear on this closed-doored row?
But a newcomer’s bright, open face,
With coils of hair and an impish smile,
Scattering interest all over the place.
Her first action upon moving in
Was to wack down fence and hedge,
To throw both curtains open wide
And lean o’r the window ledge.
Daily, as she drank her morning tea,
She waved to passersby,
And when in the yard, pet all the dogs
And greeted the children, shy.
She planted a garden on which all could gaze,
Baked treats for others to eat.
She sang lovely songs that dance on the air,
Even birds joined in with a tweet.
She was loud and kind and odd as a fish
Flying in the sky.
But like a spell, her cheeriness drew
The simple, the cynic, the shy.
Adults on the street told idle rumors
About her behind her back.
But children flocked to play in her yard,
Little games like patty-whack.
They laughed and sang and made up rhymes,
And never wanted to leave.
When evening fell, parents descended,
Complaining, all of them peeved.
But she gave them pinwheels and orangy sweets,
And asked them about their mothers.
And before they knew it, they sat on the grass,
Telling of dreams and druthers.
They talked ‘til night came on with a chill,
Then made a brilliant fire.
And she told them tales of morals and danger,
Of ghosts, fools, and liars.
They learned things about each other,
Their families and themselves.
And felt that they were dusty books
Finally taken off the shelf.
With new ways to see and hear,
They challenged their ways of doing,
And met each day with an eager smile
To see what fate was brewing.
So don’t close doors or even windows;
Don’t shut out the world.
Be brave and embrace our differences,
And fly with wings unfurled.
~May the Sun Ever Shine on your Path
Cover photo by Artem Podrez