The man who patrols the sidewalk
in front of his house turns on his sprinklers
so the spray is sure to deter pedestrian traffic
especially around the time that school lets out.
Also, he sets his trash and recycling bins
not on the grass bank like everyone else,
but at least a good six inches from the curb.
Once, I made the mistake of getting out of my car
to push them closer in, so I could have
a bit more room to park. He came charging
onto his driveway, glared hard, clearly
territorial. I held his gaze
but also looked beyond, steadfast
in my own right to be here,
the space I take up public
as the unsequestered air.

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