two poems on neighborliness

I have loved this poem since high school:

A Time to Talk
Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

And here is a poem from me:

Breakfast

I gave a bashful grin when
the elderly gentleman down the street
read my invitation aloud:
“A Breakfast with Neighbors.”
But today he brings me a loaf of bread —
“Banana/Raisin/Date/Nut Bread”–
the title taped perfectly atop
my foil-wrapped gift.

It is good bread,
best eaten with a heart full of joy.

And yesterday Karen came–
unannounced–
her hair cut short after her vacation.
In her adolescent awkwardness
she sat on my piano bench
and laughed at Isaiah with me.
She calls — and comes again–
to tell me she can watch Isaiah next week.

There is a woman in the park
who lets Isaiah pet her dog Trixie.
And I saw her today,
my stroller laden with groceries,
and I shouted, “Good morning!”
It was like belonging had just settled in.

We have conversations with neighbors–
shifting feet and quick glances,
hearts beating at the contact with humanity.

What is this grace,
washing over my hands,
my face,
my arms?
What is this grace,
trickling down my cheeks?

I hold the moments, trembling–
ashamed to fear that they will
slip away.

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  1. Beautiful. Thank you.

    • Betsy
    • July 15th, 2008

    Lovely Poem….
    Loved talking to you tonight. I hope you have fun tomorrow and I hope to see you soon! Bets

    • thebeardedlady
    • July 16th, 2008

    very warm poem

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