By Millie Watters

With my son only 1 week old, we followed a moving van to our newly purchased midcentury house in the South Hills neighborhood of Fort Worth. 

As the movers stacked boxes in empty rooms, we welcomed friends, family and neighbors who stopped by to welcome us home. One unknown man came to the door and joined in the chaos of transition. An older resident had seen the moving truck and had alerted him of the new owner’s arrival. He was eager to meet us and revisit his childhood. His family minted the home, which sat on the edge of prairie and Fort Worth proper, just before I-20 was established to the near south. Like many neighbors, he grew up going to the elementary school opened at the same time just half a block away. 

We would soon learn that the neighborhood was layered with a diversity of families and singles, who had arrived in various waves over the years. 

In the almost seven years since that day, we have enjoyed the friendships developed through chain-link fence conversations, evening bike rides, gardening trials, backyard chickens and picking up each other’s Amazon packages. 

Our neighbors have babysat our kids, picked them up from the bus, passed down toys and kept a watchful eye when needed. These proximate friends have been our relational lifeline. 

Meanwhile, the sidewalks, free little library, churchyard labyrinth and schoolyard have provided the ground our souls have needed to sustain hope and growth. 

Below are several poems inspired by the moving life of our neighborhood: 

Evening tides

The kestrel left Kody’s roof,

dipped the last of the May air then 

rose to rest on vacant limbs. 

He didn’t seem to notice our passing through

the street lamp light. 

Run ahead steps then

side by side.

hands held

then not. 

The lady that owns the snow cone

stand closes her trailer

pulled up, parked tight 

near the porch for the night. 

We turn back. 

Stops and starts

tracing invisible footsteps of 


walk to Mimis. 

A small bat gives an airshow between 

Miguel’s and Ms. Lisa’s. 

Dora folds her lawn chair

waves goodnight. 

Zumba Night

Sneakers pound pavement

Music blows 

hot summer air

across sweaty noses

Ladies moving

their tired bodies and let loosin’

Bells ringing

Ice cream screaming

A magic man in a straw hat

pushing a cart 

melting mama’s hearts

and taking sticky dollars. 

Bike wheels whirling


twirling hair

sitting on a

bench scrolling 

that phone and sideways

glancin’ at the boy

She’s known 

Since first grade. 

Old couple

holding hands

dog walking

wordless but soft 


at the little feet


to the beat

of a metal fan 


To tell the story of where you live, please send your essay to and Managing Editor Thomas Martinez at

South Hills

Total population:  5,020
Female: 43% | Male: 57%

0-9: 14%
10-19: 11%
20-29: 22%
30-39: 13%
40-49: 12%
50-59: 12%
60-69: 11%
70-79: 4%
80 and older: 1%

No degree: 14%
High school: 23%
Some college: 29%
Bachelor’s degree: 27%
Post-graduate: 7%

White: 46% | Asian: 0% | Hispanic: 47% | Black: 6% | Two or more: 1%

Click on the link to view the schools’ Texas Education Agency ratings:

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