In a Bush


There was a man, who’d hide in the bushes

We avoided his house with care

There were rumors galour, and innuendo

About things that went on in there


We walked past quickly, and safely we hoped

Keeping our books covering our chest

Just waiting for him to jump out at us

So scurrying was thought to be best


But no one ever received such a threat

There were never any recorded attacks

None of us girls were ever forced to run

But still the fear ran down our backs


The nearest thing to happen back there

Where the bushes obscured the yard

Was a scratch to our peering faces

When we pressed them into the bushes real hard


But all that was ever to be seen

Was an old lady who kept to herself

Dressed to maintain her tall flowers

With plants and pots on her shelf


Just once in a while a man would appear

As he left in the morning for work

Dressed in a suit and a tie

Never once did he appear to lurk


Yet similar did he appear to the lady

And always were they seen apart

It was eerie the resemblance they had

It was unclear where the rumors did start


Perhaps it was the parents where it began

At their suggestion that something was amiss

When leaving the house for school in the morn

A caution given with a departing kiss


We didn’t know what they thought they knew

And I supposed they really didn’t know much

When I found that the two were the same

That he was really both people as such


At home he was a she with her garden

Dressed comfortably to work in her yard

While going to work was her male appearance

And I supposed that it must have been hard


To suffer all of the opinions and fears

Through rumors and just plain bad fact

While truth and honesty was right there

It was concern and well-wishing they lacked


But sadly he moved out eventually

The heat of suspicions forced him out

As parents they didn’t teach us very well

Over time they began to slander and shout


That he was a pervert, he had a sin

When it was them that were acting so bad

He left in embarrassment and shame

His painted face was really quite sad


Us kids grew to somehow know the truth

And then we became very ashamed

Believing our parents were always right

When it was them that should have been blamed


And I remembered a time when it occurred

Just once was that it happened that I

Met her coming to close up her gate

We looked at each other, fearful eye to eye


And I saw the worry and hesitation

As she quickly smiled and withdrew

And recognized how terribly sad

Was this woman that nobody knew


A sheltered life inside of her garden

With plenty of beauty inside her fences

But hidden and fearful of others opinions

While we claimed to have all our senses


So ashamed was I from that moment on

That I had so judged one so meek

Believing the rumors, fears and lies

When friendship was all she did seek


And although I didn’t really know her at all

I saw through her soul and her fence

Her trappings were built not to assail

But only to aid in her personal defense


Forced to hide and ashamed to greet

Others who deemed her to be wrong

Surrounded by the beauty of her flowers

Hidden and crouched  there for so long


Ironically it was me that found out

That I too was all along quite different

I stepped out of the neighborhood

As they perceived me and soon I went


Because I was really not like them

And I understood all too well

The pain and the suffering he felt

About the facts that he just couldn’t tell


I found a place where I could exist

Happy and proud of who I could be

But never again did I ever seek or find

That scared face that was also of me.


Barbara Blackcinder


About Barbara Blackcinder

I am a poet/writer with a need for words. There are so many out there that I haven't used yet. They define all reality and mine when you read those from me.
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3 Responses to In a Bush

  1. Jane Watson says:

    Wow, Barb, that’s a great poem, almost an epic.

  2. Fascinating story-poem!

    Shared on Twitter…

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