We bought a house, called a “fixer-upper,”
ready to roll up our sleeves.
We began with clearing debris from the yard,
and raking up thousands of leaves.
We wanted to remove that old maple tree,
because it could fall on the home.
But our new neighbors signed a petition,
so we had to leave it alone.
We said we wanted to paint our house
a lovely shade of blue,
Neighbors declared it unacceptable -
to do so would spoil their view.
To park an extra car and a boat,
we were going to build a garage.
Our neighbors said it would ruin the homes
of field mice and tree frogs.
My wife advertised inexpensive haircuts
that she would give in-home.
Our neighbors reminded her that we lived
in a no-business zone.
So we went indoors, eager to fulfill
our youthful enthusiasm for work.
Out of mind, and out of sight,
where our nosy neighbors couldn’t lurk.
We remodeled our house throughout the months
of winter, spring, and summer,
proud that we’d done every task ourselves -
with the exception of hiring a plumber.
Our first year was very productive,
major repairs were nearly done.
Our hard work paid off - the interior of our home
was a place of comfort and fun.
The exterior of our home hadn’t fared so well,
as we barely ventured outside.
I promised my wife I would do the yardwork,
but my time I was going to bide.
Now - it’s not that I was too tired,
or too lazy to get up off my a**,
but I chose to stay neighbors’ satisfaction
of seeing me rake leaves and cut the grass.
We’re already thinking about selling our home,
seeking privacy where neighbors can’t see.
We need to escape from the status quo,
where people forgot what it means to be free.
© 2012 L.E.H.