The White Picket Fence

Gregory Baranoff 1951 (Shanghai)

The call tonight broke the silence
Sister A. called with the news
Sister Linda came to town
Twenty years of separation ending
Father J. was dead.
I heard it in her whiskey drowned voice
Tears of sadness and relief
A cleansing for redemption
Like scraping old paint from wood.

The untended fence kept people out
And shut her in, ivy growing over
Hiding dry leaves and old dirt clinging to cobwebs
Bits of trash under broken twigs
That covered undisturbed burial grounds
Of pocket-sized creatures and insects.

Sister Linda came to town
To mend the fence, to pry open the old gate
And hose down the pathway to both sides.
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Submitted by gbaranoff on June 04, 2021

Modified on April 27, 2023

33 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme xxAxxxxxx xxxxxx Axx
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 602
Words 110
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 9, 6, 3

Gregory Baranoff

Gregory Baranoff was born in Shanghai, China to Russian parents and came to the United States in the early sixties. more…

All Gregory Baranoff poems | Gregory Baranoff Books

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Discuss the poem "The White Picket Fence" with the community...

  • deepapal74935
    His words are simple with a very depth. I like such style and form.
    LikeReply10 months ago
  • teril
    Reconciliation is so sweet, can be such a relief and a savior. You are a wonderful writer, and this is a beautiful poem.
    LikeReply10 months ago
  • kenya_s
    Wow, this was really good.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Dougla$Irishman
    Lots of detail here, make for a very lively and interesting poetry !
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Soulwriter
    Great use of imagery
    LikeReply1 year ago


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"The White Picket Fence" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Oct. 2023. <>.

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Who wrote the poem ״Invictus״?
  • A. Thomas Hardy
  • B. William Ernest Henley
  • C. Oscar Wilde
  • D. Sylvia Plath