I Built a Fence

Originally posted to Blogspot on:

August 12, 2012:

I don’t write poetry much anymore. I sort of grew tired of it when I realized that fiction is a better resource for telling stories and essays are better for sharing my poignant discoveries and emotional meltdowns. But every so often I’ll become slapped in the face with inspiration and feel the need to jot down my ideas in poetic format. This happened to me last night when I was on my way home from taking a midnight walk through the neighborhood where I saw two fire engines racing by and where I passed many different types of fences and wondered who or what are they keeping inside.

I Built a Fence

I built a fence
To keep people out,
So they can’t get close to me.
If I let them in,
They’ll cause me harm
With pain I wish not to receive.

I’ve had no fence
For many a long time,
Much to my regretful dismay.
People got in,
And they moved me around,
Then left me with my disarray.

So I formed an idea
To build a fence,
That could separate me from pain.
But it took me time
To get the barrier right,
Because people won’t stay away.

The fence I wanted
Was a picket fence,
Ornamental and pleasant by sight.
But people are drawn
To its inviting design,
So I had to change my mind.

The fence I built
Was a two-rail fence,
Cheap and easy to pull.
Though, with space so wide
Between wooden slats,
Anyone could slip right through.

So, in front of that fence
I built a chain-link fence,
Made sturdy to keep them at bay.
But too many holes,
Created footholds to climb
For hopping over my barricade.

So, in front of that fence
I built a wrought iron fence,
Tall and narrow and firm.
But eager climbers
Could still shimmy on over
When skilled or eager or learned.

So, in front of that fence
I built a barbed-wire fence,
Sure to keep agile trespassers out.
But those meddling hands,
Yet padded with comfort,
Could just push my little barrier down.

So, in front of that fence
I built a privacy fence,
Closed off and sealed with wood.
Though if I stood too close,
And they battered it over,
They’d flatten me and ruin my mood.

So, in front of that fence
I built an electric fence,
Secure with ten thousand watts of power.
Now if anyone bothers
Or attempts to enter,
I’ll certainly cause them discomfort.

So, behind all my fences,
I am closed and well guarded,
And no one can reach me anymore.
I am safe, secure,
Free from your silly attempts to damage,
So don’t bother getting on through.

Yes, I have built my fences,
So many resistant,
And for years I will hide from “friends.”
But as I look around
To see what I’ve protected,
I realize no one wants to come in.

–Jeremy Bursey

This poem is free to share in any format provided you keep my name attached to it.