White picket fence

In the morning, I see the house called normalcy and America
as its glossy green grass lawn that shines with a radiance is
matched only by the white white flowers set against the bright bright sun
that shines with a radiance!
The white picket fence is like teeth in a fulgent smile that’s always being
pushed further and further and further in the ground to make it stay.

But by evening, if I stick around for the dusky blue of sundown,
there’s the sound of young swing toppling to and fro—a jarring note,
but hidden in the recesses of the white pale petalled garden
and almost unheard against the crickets’ bright chirping, though—
sometimes I am the one who has carried the happy crickets onto
this so, so, so! happy home’s lawn.

Nighttime comes and the wind stops cooing and the ground turns a
shade of blood red in the black darkened sky as the scent of whiskey mixes with
the green of the fading grass lawn that can’t hold on to the dusty dull fence.
And I leave.
Now there’s no fence, only dirt and soot, the smell of deviled whiskey
and the sound of the rickety old swing screaming as it careens through the air.

——————————————————————————————————————

Some context for this poem: I found out some horrifying news about the family life of a fellow classmate today. It’s weird because I never would have guessed that he was going through so much; in fact, I am still shocked. So, in a way, this poem is both about how people, including myself, only like to see the sunny part of people’s lives, and it’s about how this guy seems like he has the normal high school life, when he really doesn’t. I just feel so bad for him because he had to grow up so fast, even though I know that he is much braver and stronger than I could ever be, and I guess this poem was my way to express some of what I’m feeling.

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2 thoughts on “White picket fence

  1. This poem struck a nerve with me, as did your additional notes at the end. It’s true that we tend to see what we want, not the ugly stuff that may be hidden by the veneer. When I was in HS, a classmate’s Dad killed the entire family and then himself. We were shocked. No one had any idea of the troubles. I wonder – were the signs there and we chose to not see them?

    • That’s horrible; I really can’t imagine what that must be like to go through. But that’s something I always wonder as well—what am I shielding myself from that’s right there in plain sight? It’s exactly like you said: we see what we want to see, and that’s why it’s so easy to hide pain and sorrow, even though some things should not be hidden at all because that only causes more pain.

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