Please cite all poem references: “Excerpt from ‘Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain’ by Barbara Vance.” Thank you!


This half of the room is mine,
And your half’s over there;
I’ve marked the border clearly
Just to make sure things stay fair.

This line divides the sloppy
From the tidy and the clean;
It separates the scummy
From all that is pristine.

No longer will I find your shoes
Amassed under my bed;
Your sandals, boots, and sneakers
Will remain with you instead.

Your clothes and books and cookie crumbs
Will all stay on your side;
And don’t think I won’t confiscate
What crosses the divide.

And though the door’s on my side,
I’ve been most neighborly
In leaving you full access
Of the window by the tree.

I trust you’ll manage nicely—
Climbing in and out—
With all this sunny weather
It is quite the scenic route.

I’ve compiled a list of rules
To which you must adhere;
I think you’ll understand them all,
As I’ve made them very clear.

I think I’ve covered everything;
That’s all I have to say.
So, if you have no questions,
Would you like to come and play?

~ Barbara Vance

Excerpt from the poetry collection “Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain”

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