Why I Love the Scrubland

West Texas is hard to call pretty
It’s hot and dry and pretty much gritty
We cling to our air conditioners
And don’t leave the city.

Desolate scrubland
Wide open and free
Used to seem endless to me
Until I found out
It wouldn’t always be.

Rezoning notice taped to a door
Where there were a few homes there’s gonna be more
Where used to fit two they’re gonna cram four
Things so tight neighborhood’s gonna get sore.

Single-family got rezoned
Didn’t matter that homeowners moaned and groaned
Or how many people we phoned
Land soon to be covered with townhomes cloned.

I tried to fight, I really did
But when the time came my voice had a lid
I kept my seat at the Planning Commission meeting
Knowing that my indignant bleating
Would only be seen as arguments fleeting.

I was alone on the municipal battleground
No helpful neighbor to be found
When given a chance to comment
I uttered nary a sound
If I spoke I was bound
To anger the developer.

Later I regretted keeping quiet
And walked in the evening to defy it
I saw the desolate land
Soon to be ground under for consumer demand.

It looked beautiful with the clouds.

Did it look the same hundreds of years ago?
When the Spanish crossed in convoys slow?
Will it be undeveloped long enough
To see one last snow?
I don’t know.
I don’t know.

I was silent and feel I let my neighbors down
I feel they judge me with a frown
A writer and speaker, they judged me formidable
But in the end, anxiety made me drown
In silence.

This picture will help me remember.

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