Between the Fences

My backyard is not my own
but tenants tend the overgrown
according to the contract I signed long ago

Long ago, the owner raised
a chain-link fence to counter-face
a wooden fence the next door neighbor put in place

Maybe they were family
or age-old enemies
but neither thought to talk about the in between

Who will tend the space between the fences?
Who’ll take time to recognize the flourishing of weeds?
They’re not mine, they’re not yours
the mimosas or the thorns
Who will stake a claim on spaces in between?

Now everybody wants to build
a border wall and have it billed
to Mexico (or so he’d have you misbelieve)

“Fences better neighbors make,”
said Bobby Frost, or Willie Blake
The fact is unimportant, just the new pet peeve

But we’re all one big family
with common enemies
Disregard the garden growing in between

But who will tend the space between the fences?
Who’ll take time to recognize the cultivating weeds?
Now they’re yours and they’re mine
Grapes of wrath make bitter wine
for all the deaf and blind to spaces in between

My children came running, torn from their play
by the thorny overreaching hand
My daughter and son, now they are the ones
to reap the whims of an ancient frightened man

My backyard is not my own
but tenants tend the overgrown
That’s the way the world was written long ago

Long ago, and here and now
we beat the sword into a plough
and open up the mind behind the furrowed brow

Dispensing with the fences
Spread the open green
Laying out the vision of the in between

Now who will take a place between the fences?
Who will make this no-man’s land a land for you and me?
Now I’m yours and you’re mine
We reject the battle line
Now we’re making peace in places in between

Now I’m yours and you’re mine
Break the bread and pour the wine
Come on, set the table in the in between

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