For over thirteen years I’ve exercised by walking through the streets,
and in and out of the cul de sacs,
of our neighborhood.
Two loops around makes almost five miles.
The people in the houses know me,
we smile and wave,
and sometimes chit chat for a bit.
Two blocks south lives a retired couple,
but we just call him “the man with the perfect yard”.
Maybe today I’ll say,
“After all these years, let me introduce myself.
My name’s Elizabeth!”
Then he’ll tell me his name, and I hope I’ll remember it.
His yard really is perfect.
Not a weed in sight.
The flowerbeds are edged with razor sharp perfection.
Nary a stray leaf dares to blow over onto his property.
His sidewalk and driveway look swept and scrubbed.
No spider webs don the eves of his house.
When I get back home, I see it with a critical eye.
The neighbors huge fir trees overshadow our front lawn,
there’s a sparse place in the grass because of it,
giving our yard a receding hair line,
Weeds pop up in the crooked flowerbeds faster than we can pull them.
The sidewalk and driveway are sprinkled with fir cones from the trees.
I notice the roof has moss growing on it again.
In the backyard, our own huge cedar trees give it the appearance that the forest resents the fact that we dared to disturb it by putting in a neighborhood,
and it’s now plotting to take back over.
Part of me really wants the perfect yard with no weeds and no moss and no crooked edges.
And that part of me almost missed the beauty in all of this mess.