New Neighbor


I stake no claim

on your friendship.

I will not pan your stream

nor eye your timberline.

My boundary is barbed wire,

taut and high.


But you will not honor

my design. You push upriver,

scale boulders; range

and pry, while I


suffer your advance,

admit your track,

await your next caprice.

Resigned at last,

construct a gate.


Katherine Barnes