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Why Don’t They Speak?

By Riki and Paul Bolster
Each day they go by my house.
Some jog,
others walk with intent, often led by their dogs;
or their attention is on their phone,
conversation or music.
Babies gurgle by in their carriages,
toddlers ride on their parents’ bikes;
older children get their first biking instructions on my street.
But they don’t speak —
to me,
their neighbor/stranger,
on my porch
or tending my garden.
I’m the old man of the neighborhood,
been here 40 years;
our children grew up here;
went to school here;
we PTA’d here;
attended church here;
offered leadership here.
But they don’t speak —
to me,
their neighbor/stranger,
on my porch
or tending my garden.
How do I meet these new neighbor/strangers?
Maybe with a yard sale.
Maybe with a dog that needs walking.
Maybe with a free coffee stand.
Maybe by just speaking first.

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