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Welcome to Shy Road
by Darlene Moore Berg

It's easy to overlook the intersection,
a backward "y" from any direction,
but it's where I live, Shy Road.
A zip code of anonymity.

If you turn in this graveled drive
watch out for unfulfilled potholes,
lost, abandoned aspirations,
the neglect of the residents.
I live third house down on the right.

Don't blink twice or you'll
miss my concealed entrance,
a gateway overgrown with exuberant ivy.
An unassuming exterior will greet you:
a clapboard residence of peeling buttermilk
shuttered with weathered blue eyes,
crowned with a mixture of sandy grey shingles.

The pathway to my door shelters
in the overgrowth of a cottage garden
gone awry.
Rusted hinges squeak on the screen door
an alert to the arrival of strangers.
Friends know the back-way in.

Do not expect an immediate answer
to your knock of inquiry.
I ponder laboriously any appropriate response
and may take years to undo the deadbolt.
I'll whisper to you through the door, if I do so at all.
Just ask the neighbors down the street
I've never come to meet.

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