My neighbor is not only
the one who stands, invited,
upon the welcome mat of my heart
and who is beckoned inside with
a smooth gesture of my arm.
My neighbor, much to my
frustration is also the one
who knocks and runs away, laughing.
Distracted from my work,
I inevitably open the door to find no one.
My neighbors also include:
the one who pounds my door with grievances,
the one who parks in my driveway,
and the one out of 100 that I am
certain I'll never peaceably agree with.
There is no law saying
my neighbors must love me.
I only wish this to be true, since
it would make this work of loving
my neighbors immeasurably simpler.
My neighbors, though, are
at times impossibly difficult
to understand (let alone love).
Some do not return my efforts of kindness.
Some slip hate mail under my door.
Some days I feel like changing
my welcome mat for a 'no trespassing'
sign and locking the door of my heart.
As it happens though, watching out for these neighbors
IS my work and friends, it is the hardest work of all.