painting by Jason Brockert
“I live in the suburbs, outside the terrible cities.
The suburbs are the final battleground of the
American Dream.”--Harlan Coben.
As a boomer,
I have witnessed the creation
of the suburbs,
as the returning servicemen
from WWII got married and
wanted to move out
of the crowded city
neighborhoods that they
grew up in, raw boned,
playing stick ball & skate hockey,
dodging traffic, bloodying their
knuckles on those mean streets.
I fondly remember those glossy ads
in Life & Look & the Saturday Evening
Post for that new sensation--
suburban housing developments located
in outlying districts, billboards of smiling
families so very happy to reside in
a rambler home behind a white-washed
pocket fence on wide tree-lined streets
with two-car garages & separate bedrooms
for the kiddies, walking distance from lovely
parks & safe schools, rife with milkmen,
postmen, & door-to-door salesmen.
70 years later, disillusionment has set in.
We are tired of mowing lawns, stressful
commutes to work--tired of the damn
cookie-cutter ticky-tacky blandness of
the housing, new developments stretching
clear to the horizon, blurring city limits,
becoming a sea of lights from the air,
creating traffic snarls, road rage, and
general apathy, as franchises sprung
up on every other corner & strip malls
& vast shopping malls clog empty lots.
So many turn their eyes back into the
inner cities, embracing urban renewal,
embracing apartment & condo luxury
minus the tedium of yard work & worries
about new roves, sump pumps & gardeners.
Everything comes full circle if you live long
enough & happen to notice it.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub