The Boy Next Door

Six years ago I moved into my
little flat at the end of the
driveway ending its eight week
solitary vacancy.  Some in the
neighbourhood had exploited
this lengthy vacant solitude.

Stepping out my back door one
sunny afternoon loud shrieks
metallic crashes resounded down
the pathway under our clotheslines.
I had sent away children crashing
their scooters over the clanging
manhole cover. Their Gran had
allowed it. I didn’t after being
nearly flattened. I scolded
loudly for her benefit.

Now the boy next door with his
friend came crashing down our path.
Bad timing on the part of all,
I was bringing in my washing.
The boy next door was just my
height but he was only twelve.

Six years later we neighbours
met last week on the kerb around
an injured cyclist. The boy next
door is now eighteen, over six
feet tall, and very solid build.

Fortunately he rides a bike
not a scooter these days.

The Boy Next Door