from Plant a Garden Around Your Life

Did you know I have a poetry chapbook about what it’s like to have (and be healed from) depression? Here’s a poem about what healthy boundaries look like.


This is my pile

And that is yours.

The short definition

For detachment.

I never understood

Until recently, that is,

Why Robert Frost said,

“Good fences make good neighbors”.

But, really, if someone is trying

To shovel their stuff

(that they need to deal with)

Onto your personal space,

Well, you make the fence

As high as you need to.

Not to keep them out,

So much as it is to

Corral your serenity in.

After all, you have your own stuff to deal with.

They may ask you to loan them money.

But if they are irresponsible, don’t.

They may ask you to lie for them.

No one should be asked to do that.

They may want you to do their work for them.

They may ask you to cover for them.

The fence is made out of two letters:

N and O:  No.

“Good fences make good neighbors,”

Especially if your neighbor

I determined to spill his or her

Toxic waste dump

Into your yard.

Find the whole collection here, and give it to someone who has a loved one with depression, or buy it for yourself so that you will feel understood.