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Neighborhood Watch

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.

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