I was standing in line
At the supermarket
And overheard a woman talking
About the new neighborhood
To which she’d be moving soon.
“It’s quiet,” she said to the cashier.
And the cashier nodded knowingly.
I started thinking about how that phrase means
different things to different people.
For some, it probably conjures images of
and smooth, black, bike-riding asphalt on lightly-trafficked streets,
Families tossing hellos over fences…
For others, it means (much more than simply)
walking the street without fearing harassment,
feeling fairly certain you won’t awaken to screaming most nights,
being able to walk from the bus stop to your home
without seeing more
than you bargained for.
Then I thought
maybe she just meant that she’d be moving to a place
where she could send her teenager out for candy at 9:00 at night,
and be mostly sure he’d come back home