Awkward Relationship

From Spring Cleaning, a poetry collection published in 2015.

Awkward Relationship

The neighbor’s garage.
The center of a universe of junk
just a whole lot of junk. The kind
that I could describe but it’s
the kind of stuff you’ve seen before
The kind that takes a lot of time
to accumulate and arrange.
So I won’t describe it but I will tell you
the garage is a gem of a place with a slate roof
and the nicest scallop-patterned stucco on its walls
and deserves its place at the center of the universe
maybe not this one.

Garage, Allentown, PA, 2006.


13 thoughts on “Awkward Relationship

  1. Thank you. I do feel that everyone lives in their own reality and I try to take them as they come, as much as is possible. Having been judged a lot in my life, I try not to pass on that favor in an overt way! Plus, so often, you get such interesting thoughts from how other people have arranged their worlds for you to see.

  2. At least that is an old garage that hasn’t been purposely created as a thing of beauty. People here will turn a ground floor room into a garage and keep on treating it like the ‘parlour’. We visited a house last week where the car had a carpet to rest its wheels on!

  3. OMG. OMG. Well, I will mention that it is a thing that people like to updo here too, at least on TV – sort of like redoing your kitchen only you redo the garage with all kinds of storage and you spray on a special floor coating and it is just too wonderful. I have never seen one like it in real life. More often people convert them into living space, not the other way around…

  4. It’s a question of land space and price. In the cities and towns in general, the habitat is old, pre-car and there are no garages. Now everybody has a car, and few people have anywhere to keep it safe and dry and warm. So they knock their front room out and let the car in. The really impressive ones belong to the Spanish and Portuguese who put tiling all the way around, furniture to keep things in, hang onions and peppers and stuff from the beams, pictures on the walls, and change into slippers when they’re in the garage. Wacky!

  5. Claudia, as a nod to your sense of humor – – I don’t know if you see the two suggestions under “More on” that follows your comments section….an article titled, “Importance of Garage Door Maintenance.” haha….as if! I for one would like to peek around behind those doors….you never know.

  6. I can relate. I had a neighbor with a tidy, well kept house. But… from the windows at the back of my house, I could see all of the junk and car parts, behind the garage, that were not visible from the street. It looked that way long after her son, a motorhead, moved out.

  7. Yes! I can’t resist walking through alleys like this one because I love to peek into the behind the scenes life of maintained or not garages! and backyards. and sheds.

  8. Yes, people get used to the look and don’t see it anymore, I think. I’ve taken several train trips and much of the routes go through the back sides of peoples’ properties, and I have seen a lot of this kind of thing. Very interesting, though, I enjoy looking…though not living next to it, no, that is another story.

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