30 March 2010

Okay, Good Neighbours

Faced with a choice of
either ‘good neighbourship’
or scrupulous honesty I
admit I will fail

I always thought they were
states of mutual exclusivity
in an hierarchy of untenable

My neighbour, portrayed as
a shiftless lowlife actually fits
the ascription with uncanny
accuracy – but doesn’t wait

for gratuitous greetings,
gestures of goodwill or even
time of the day from me
– and doesn’t get them

but I respect his not setting
expectations and continuing
to be my neighbour without
actually being good at it

Others claim friendship, invite
reciprocal behaviours beyond
the reach of my nobility but
fail a scrupulous honesty test

They set standards, make
judgements day by day which
define good neighbours – but
do not live next to them
© 22 February 2010, I. D. Carswell