Washington area, via the Internet, August 2015
Ralph was my vacationing neighbor for a week. A stranger but not a stranger. I connected with him and his family immediately. He discovered the poetry project. I asked him to write. He is a lawyer and an advocate for non-profits in the fields of mental health and wounded veterans. And he is a poet.
Deep, wide moats encircle our castles, personae,
Decorated, dressed, as if to welcome,
Yet our high-walled boundaries put off strangers
Who might embrace, be embraced.
Reared with conflicting values,
“Don’t talk to strangers,”
“Welcome/love the stranger,”
We hesitate, shrinking to our lesser selves.
“Stranger!” Strange. Unsettling. Weird. Alien.
Our risk/fear antennae distance us from THEM,
Within our moated castles.