His words

scald the souls


the poor wife-

the only son-

the mother in law-


he neighbors us well-

honey and sugar

he is

to those living close by-

he keeps our keys when we are away-

in times of need he’s by your side always-

he has earned the sobriquet,

gentlest of men-

all rough edges smoothen,

thorns spell petals,

when it’s a neighbor-


the tooth and nail; the knife and stone

are kept intact

for home usage-

should I love this “crooked neighbor”

with my “crooked heart”?


Quoted words are from Auden’s poem, ‘As I Walked Out One Evening’



Posted for my prompt ~ Neighbors @ Poets United Midweek Motif


11 thoughts on “Neighbor

  1. Yes. What a clear portrait you create! I see him. I wonder if he would share a meal with someone he doesn’t consider a neighbor if they were both guests at another house (yours?) simultaneously. As long as there is life, there is hope.

  2. I like how you used Auden’s words. You describe someone who is kind to neighbors but treats his family as enemy. Sad that there are those like this. Made me think of stories my mother told me about an old custom in Puerto Rico (where I’m from). If a neighbor dropped by at meal time, the meat was taken from the children’s plate and given to the neighbor. This was the courtesy of poverty. Don’t know how true this was or if my mother ever did that. Hope not.

  3. Oh the public face and the private face. I have a neighbour like that, who is pleasant to me but terrible to some other neighbours. I am plesant to him to maintain the peace and not raise his ire……..but am very guarded and careful, knowing how volatile he can be. Peoples’ behaviours are an amazement to me.

  4. This is incredibly evocative, Sumana. I can picture him .. and wonder how many more shades there are to his personality. Thank you for the lovely prompt ❤️ It made me very emotional 🙂

  5. That occasional glimpse behind the neighbors door is often one of sadness at their relationship.I have seen this too. It makes me very thankful for my own families lives.

  6. A vivid portrait of the kind of neighbour, we’d all like, Sumana, who looks after the neighbourhood and ‘has earned the sobriquet gentlest of men’.

Thank You :)

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