Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Fence

  I am not so old that I do not function. I serve a purpose--the same purpose I had when I was first created. Although I may not do it as well as I once did, I serve as a reminder to those on both sides.
  Do not cross.
  I used to keep people from even seeing. But time has put holes in me, as it does many things. I am no longer straight and tall and seamless. My edges have rounded, my knots have dissolved, and parts of me are missing. But I am still useful.
  If I was not, I would no longer exist. But I do exist because I have something to add to the world. I keep things safe. I keep people safe.
  I am not insurmountable. If you wanted, you would climb over me. If you wanted, you could cut me down. But you don't. I am tall, and I have just enough holes in just enough spots that people peek through to the other side and then leave. If I were as I once was, without blemish, people would wonder. People would climb. People would need to see the other side. But I have learned that a few glimpses of what people want to see satiates them.
  The interesting thing is that when they look they do not see everything they could see if I didn't exist. They do not see it all. And yet, they see enough. They find the balance between needing to know what I hide and needing to obey the unspoken rule that I create--do no cross. They enter with their eyes, catch a glimpse, think they know what it is I truly hide, and then leave, never to wonder again. They do not see which things change and which stay the same. They do not know that I hide much more than is visible in a small hole.
  There is a larger hole for the children than there is for the adults. Children are not so easily pacified by the belief that they know everything. Children will wonder until they pry boards loose or make holes bigger. Children don't want to just see; they want to experience: to touch, to hear, to taste, to smell. Children see, but know they don't understand and need more.
  There is a smaller hole for adults. They no longer want to touch, to hear, to taste, to smell. They know the feel by sight, the noise irritates them, they are afraid of dirt, and of the dirty. It is enough for them to see. But they don't see. They glimpse and think they see and think they understand and don't want more.

Deb and Sabrina also responded to the prompt.



  1. Yeees. Yes, yes. I loved that you took up the perspective of the fence, but oh how I love that last part about the adults vs the children. You're right about so many aspects. You make a very perceptive fence, my friend.

  2. I love that Deb called you a perceptive fence! Haha. But this is amazing writing Leah! It's funny and thought-provoking, a little mysterious at the beginning. And now *I* want to know what's on the other side. And *I* want to be a child for a moment. It reminds me of Stardust, where everyone just accepted that you don't cross the fence. And then someone did and they found magic and the love of their life. I adore that movie. And I adore that you told the story from the fence. You rock.

  3. I love this and that you never once tell us what is over there! You tease ;-)