Won’t You Be My Neighbor? by Barbara Presnell

Change Seven Magazine

Won't You Be My Neighbor? (Courtesy Barbara Presnell) Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Courtesy Barbara Presnell)

My neighbors have painted their outside window casings red. Blood red. I don’t mean blood red that has dried to a soft, fall-like burgundy. I mean blood red the minute it seeps out the body, bright and shining. It’s a sloppy job, spilling onto the house brick, dripping onto the sidewalk and grass below. It looks really, really bad. It looks godawful.

We’re ready for them to move out anyway. Three sons are always in trouble—not innocent trouble like smoking cigarettes and cursing around small children, but trouble like breaking and entering. Jail-time trouble, drop out of school trouble. This is a nice neighborhood, with white painted wood and red brick houses, with children who finish college and go on to become bankers, counselors, insurance agents.

A year or two ago, another neighbor painted her house green. Mossy green over the formerly…

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