Suburban Warfare

New development
Single-family home
Wide streets, big yards,
Places for kids to roam.

Three streets of brand-new houses
Free from vagabonds, ne’er-do-wells, and louses
A place to raise kids and relax with spouses
On peaceful driveways share neighborly grouses.

Land to the east open and free
Scrubland, bushes, occasionally a scrubtree
In the distance pumpjacks we can see
Gazing at the scene with our evening tea.

More houses will go there
Just like ours
That’s what we thought, anyway
Before a notice had us running for the bars
Leaving us not knowing what to say.

A public notice
Rezoning
Created angst, left the neighborhood groaning

No more would houses like ours go to the east
They want to rezone to multi-family, what a beast!
Ugly apartment complexes rising like yeast
Young apartment-dwellers destroying the peace.

Oil boom has developers drooling
Desperate for a multi-family ruling
Pack ’em in, rake in the cash
Cheap apartments fill up in a flash

Who cares about the small neighborhood?
Theirs checks have already cleared, it’s all good
“In the way of progress they stood!”
That’s what the developers would say if they could.

We’re worried about more traffic
More crime and trash
Declining home values
Nighttimes lit up by police car flash

We homeowners decide to fight
Convince the City Council to not allow this blight
We gather together with minds sharp, eyes bright
Will we win? We just might!

Our collective efforts are quite a sight
The developer panics, wants to dull our bite
Tries to allay our fears with a presentation airy and light
“It will be a good thing, it’s the perfect site!”
Some angry residents tell him to go fly a kite.

But now neighborhood unity is breaking
Some homeowners bought his speech
Others think he’s faking
But a divergent path his smooth talk has us taking
Will our coalition last until the City Council meeting?

Neighborhood Facebook page once buzzed
Now quiet
Once there was full-blooded anger
Now it’s diet
How many will be ready for a civilized riot
On Monday?

The bandwagon may be broken
But I will carry on
I am a political buck, no retiring fawn
Too much value have I invested in my house and lawn
My verbal battle lines have already been drawn.

I will wear a suit of suburban armor
Dressed in a suit and tie, a real charmer
Give a classy presentation at the City Council meeting
Hopefully my arguments won’t be fleeting
Elaborating on my neighborhood’s painful bleating.

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