By the Fence

Every day I see her there
child by the chain link fence
imagining friends and school games
her mouth forming an O at the clouds
as if they were breath-formed
to shower the blighted with dreams
dragons incinerating fences
between a million small figures
as time passes like wind over grass,
blown green now brown,
while the limitless sky watches
unblinking.


dVerse Poetics #428, “Poetry as Witness”: Frank writes, “So tonight poets, let’s bear witness in our local neighbourhood.” I chose to write on the harm that is being done to our children during this time of enforced social isolation.

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32 thoughts on “By the Fence”

  1. Oh, this is so saddening. You describe it in your fascinating writing style, but it truly is heartbreaking to think about the aftermath of what this does to children. Social skills will crumble and they can be more susceptible to different anxieties or reluctances of interacting with others their age. 😦 The long-term effect just has them struggling with social skills in adulthood if they remain in these patterns. Hopefully, the isolation will end soon but the children may have a learning curve in their adjustment period. Fingers crossed for the best.

    I hope all is well with you. Fabulous wordsmithing, Dora!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many parents worried about this and I see them trying to alleviate the stresses on their children as best they can but it’s very frustrating. I hate the looks in children’s eyes that convey confusion and anxiety and it breaks my heart. They don’t understand and they see only separation from peers and neighbors. I’m with you in hoping this ends soon. Thanks, Lucy, for your kind and thoughtful comments. You always cheer me with your insights. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your poem gave me a massive lump in my throat, Dora. How many children are there in this world like the ‘child by the chain link fence’? I love her ‘O’ of wonder at the clouds, and hope the dragons were kind to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. She has the clouds. The idea of children suffering from isolation from their peer group is one, I admit I hadn’t thought of. I always imagine children with brothers and sisters. It’s true, more often than not, that’s exactly what they haven’t got.
    I hope this child remembers talking to dragons when it’s over.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is tough on the kids for sure. Last time around, in Spain, my kids couldn’t even leave the house for 6 whole weeks. And the neighbours had the nerve to complain that they were noisy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those neighbours need to find their heart. I can see it weighing on the kids in our neighborhood and it bothers me no end. I know parents are sick with worry and all sorts of emotional problems are cropping up. May God have mercy and end this nightmare soon, for children and the isolated elderly.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel the same way, Bjorn. I think Sweden is way ahead of the rest of the world in the way it has responded to the virus with sanity and data-driven science, not hysteria and politicized experts.

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  5. They are talking about having to close schools here again–and I was so heartened to see the children lining up outside again–even with masks, their energy and enjoyment in each other is infectious. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

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