You moved out here to this neighborhood
and quite a step up for you it was. You feel uncomfortable
about stepping out of line and you have the idea
there are things about the place
going right over your head
but you tell yourself it doesn’t matter if you keep up a good front.
That’s why you put the fountain in the front yard. To show
you know how to add value to the property. To make your own mark. To shut up
the rest of the family when they come out here to visit and they tell you
the place isn’t that much better than the old house, really, and
the neighbors are snobs (they have never met any of them) and
why’d you have to spend so much on just a house? They are jealous and you know it
but it doesn’t feel good. So you got the real estate agent to recommend
a landscape firm and you told them you wanted a fountain
in the front yard and you didn’t know why exactly, but
it just seemed necessary to take action.
You don’t know why about that,
So they hauled the fountain in and set up the water line and
now the fountain sits
front and center
eight or so feet tall. Three tiers. Your uncle told you
it reminds him of the birdbath you had beside the porch
at the old house.
Some of the kids tried to swim in it at the Fourth of July party
last summer and you’ll never forget grabbing your nephew by the arm
and hauling him out of the second level
wearing only his boxer shorts
soaked and see-through. You are not sure if the neighbors spotted it or not.
Now it’s winter and you have to keep the fountain from cracking
with the water sitting in it and freezing so you
wrapped it up in green plastic
like you used to do with the birdbath.
Now it squats in the yard
big as life
front and center. Eight plus feet tall and wide
of wrapped green plastic. You can’t miss it. Somehow
– and you don’t know how exactly –
this is not how things should be
but you’ve chosen your road
and you’re sticking to it and it will all work out if
you just keep up a good front
the birdbath was a lot easier to manage.