Wooden Fence

Our fence slumps

and leans,       

its white paint

peeled, faded gray with mold.

Every eight feet a cedar post

barely stands

on its rotting foot.

Yet still, it loosely embraces

 our patch of grass and trees and home.

Where toddlers once ran wild

to escape the confines of love

and see what else might be

beyond its invisible hold

but were stopped short by the wooden board fence

that kept the nightmares out

until it was time to open the gate

and let them go.

Originally published in Young Raven’s Literary Review.

Elizabeth McCarthy lives in an old farmhouse in northern Vermont with her husband and cat. In the course of many years, they raised two children, several generations of free roaming hens, and made numerous attempts at keeping honey bees alive through cold winters and visits from marauding bears. At age fifty, Elizabeth earned a Master of Arts in Teaching, taught in Vermont public schools and at the Community College of Vermont before retiring in 2018. She turned to poetry in March of 2020, when covid closed the world down and time became a windfall.