Ken Poyner
How angry are the fences?  All day they have been muttering to one another, a clapping of boards, a rattle of chain link.  Corner poles have twisted themselves deeper into their protected earth.  Split rails have chafed even against each other.  Vinyl has bowed; and prefabricated panels have caustically thrown off paint.

There is a hiss to every joint in every gate.  Pickets show their points all in the rough, and barbed wire thinks it is a glory all by itself.

The doors cannot outdo them.  Doors slam and grind in their joists. Spy holes cloud and fog, eat their stray prisms of sunlight.  Hinges groan under the contumely.  Deadbolts spring back their latches like a scold's tongue.  Screens tear obstinately from their puzzled frames.

If you are too slow, a door will catch you in the backside as you squeeze out to where the fences wait.

Doors and fences both contain, and you might think that, in containment, they both would anger equally, suckle similar resentments, agree in their disagreements.  But, while they both contain, they contain different areas, sometimes different things.  Each suspects it can be unique in its anger.

Some have held that the doors are angrier.  I do not see it.  It is the fences that have edged into an unspecific rage, an enmity woven into their very constituent elements.  Doors are mad about something, even if I do not know what.  Fences have no purpose or flavor to their anger, only a direction.

We go through a spell like this every so often.  Soon it will be appliances:  refrigerators will be unhappy with cold; microwaves will not let their heated contents out.  Electricity will be stockpiled; extension cords will be regretted.  Light bulbs will try to take their illumination back.

If the matter were as simple as fences no longer wanting to be fences, doors not wanting to be doors, we would solve this with a bit of carpentry and metal work.  But it is so much worse.  Fences do not know why they are angry; doors have not even pondered why they are herding towards enmity.  The raw emotion itself makes each fence, each door, more than it could have ever imagined it would one day be.

If this were all there was in it, we could adapt.  But we must recognize the anger of the fences; the solid core belligerence of the doors; the growing, if for now unfocused, dislikes of the appliances.  We must recognize it, and we must at times be the target of it.  And this makes us angry.