Connie Bensley

New Neighbour

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The trellis between her garden

and her new neighbour’s garden

is heavy with passion flower,

honeysuckle and roses, so that

only rare glimpses can be seen through it —

a blue flower, a splash of grass,

a dark cuff. She calls out politely

to welcome him to the neighbourhood.

Weeks later, she calls out to him again

and, slowly, emboldened by invisibility,

she hears herself offering confidences —

her fears, guilts and indecisions.

It must be like a confessional, only sunnier

and without penances. She thinks she hears him

breathing attentively, but then there is

the muffled sound of his back door closing.