The house down the street is for sale–
the house with the family we hardly know.
We’ve never really connected with them.
Maybe everybody is just too busy.
this family is still a mystery to us after three years.
There’s an awkwardness when you go so long
without connecting with folks you see everyday,
but don’t really know.
They stay to themselves, and we do too,
and so does everyone else in the neighborhood.
The detached faceless society is not what I want, but
it seems a way of life for many of us today.
What can we do about it?
Walk up and give a stranger a hug? Maybe.
We gave the family a bouquet of flowers
when they first moved in,
hoping they’d feel welcome.
The mother waves and smiles sometimes
when we drive by, and we wave and smile back.
Other times, she looks the other way,
and so do we.
The father never looks our way.
Not sure why, but
he always finds something else more interesting:
his shoes, the dog, or his cigarette,
which glows orange in the dark
when he smokes outside at night.
The kids are teenagers, seemingly preoccupied
with their boyfriends and girlfriends.
They pull in and out of the driveway a hundred times a day,
which is typical for hormoned teens.
I have a hunch that the girl graduated high school this year.
I wonder if she’s going to college.
It’s strange, but there seems to be a point,
beyond which it is too late to get to know people.
Three years is that point in this case.
We don’t know why the family is moving.
We hope it’s for a good reason, and not
because something terrible has happened.
The family’s large fluffy white dog used to love
to stroll up and down the street.
The brooding father used to bellow at the dog
when it wandered too far.
The family never walks the dog,
which seems a little odd to us.
Haven’t seen much of the dog lately.
Maybe he gave up on the neighborhood too.
I wonder if he knows his family is moving.
I stopped last night
and took one of the marketing brochures
from the tube under the For Sale by Owner sign.
The big house is very pleasant-looking inside and out.
Lots of rooms for just four people.
Perhaps that’s why they’re moving.
Asking price for the house: $585,000.00.
Does that include the benefit of living
in a neighborhood without a sense of community?