My Neighbor


By Breena Clarke

Every morning he walked by my house as I came out with my appealing and peaceable dog. Every morning he pushed his toddler past us. He never looked at me. I was open-faced, accessible, tried to catch his eye. He looked away. I was pissed. I began to shout, “Good morning.” He could not avoid responding. He did try. Next time I shouted, “Good morning,” he mumbled a pleasantry. He looked for a second. Generally, he tried to avoid me. Later with more children and a dog, he caught me unawares coming out of my house. He shouted, “Good morning.”

Breena Clarke is the author of three novels, Angels Make Their Hope Here, River, Cross My Heart, an October 1999 Oprah Book Club selection, and Stand The Storm. She is a founder and co-organizer of the Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers and is on the fiction faculty at Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine.

6 thoughts on “My Neighbor

  1. On mornings when I feel fit I take a walk along the towpath of a nearby canal. Saying ‘Good Morning’ or some other greeting is something I picked up from hiking. Normally Brits are pretty reluctant to respond. However, you do notice that after a while folk will start to respond. The way I see it, when I hiking and it happened to me I always was left with a good feeling. So now I hope that happens for others. Thank you for reminding me of this 🙂


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