Posted in Rituals


The neighbour on the other side advised waiting five years,
if the new arrivals are still in residence
say hello
good advice, and backed by experience
she had lived in the same house for 49 years
but not valid in this case.

The did become neighbour introduced herself first,
coming around pre-purchase ostensibly to check fences,
but really us.

Perhaps embarrassed about her effrontery or
she said she was on her own.
“On my own” – she didn’t actually specify

or say, separated, divorced, estranged
but said she had  had a son
so we figured he must’ve been some sort of relationship, at some time.

One day when weeding the garden
directly beneath the fence
I heard the materialism of a teenager
wanting and wishing out loud –
“ask your father.”



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.