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Rated: 13+ · Book · Emotional · #2227002
A poem a day keeps the cobwebs off my keyboard.
#989093 added July 25, 2020 at 7:19am
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Good Credit Makes Good Neighbors
My father never appreciated
friendly neighbors
neighbors who greet you,
(a near stranger)
with the excited enthusiasm
usually reserved for a rich uncle
or a brother long thought dead

My father believed in
keeping the proper distance
owed to someone you would never know
if you didn’t move next door to them
A wave was an intrusion but
accepted as unavoidable
First names were discouraged
Nicknames stung like arrows

But worst of all were borrowers
Neighbors who mistook proximity
for friendship and believed
that friendship created
a community ownership of tools
and gadgets
My father was no socialist
What was his was hard-work earned
And not for borrowing by
strangers who lived next door

But, there was no saying no to Gil
When Gil moved next door,
Other friendly neighbors
became like foreign tourists
occasionally waving hello but
ignored because they didn’t speak
the language - they couldn’t
because Gil had already used
all the neighborly words

Gil imagined a friendship
Deep and mutual
He had a nickname for my father
and discussed his garden tools
with glowing admiration
He felt no shame in using
whatever he had a need for
and returning things whenever
he got around to it
or, not at all

But inside old Dad was brewing
A storm of indignation
A quickly emptying shed
echoed his discontent
Where rake and hoe
and hedge trimmer once hung
Were empty hooks that taunted
Their accusations ringing louder
in my father’s head until
he broke through Gil's
neighborly facade with one
brutal accounting of what was owed him

And Gil, for his part, moved away
He’d been through this before
Neighbors who’d seen his name
on billboards and magazine inserts
Printed on plastic of every color
Neighbors who thought him an easy touch
Always looking for something for nothing
He’d find another neighborhood where
people were friendlier, a street
where neighbors shared gladly
A place where everyone wasn’t looking
For something from G. Raymond.

68 Lines

The Daily Poem July 25, 2020

Prompt: Assume this name/credit card issue really does have an impact on G. Raymond, whether good or bad. Write either the lament of G. Raymond, or the exaltation of G. Raymond. Your choice.
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