I am surrounded by perfect lawns
So crisp and uniform they might as well have just come from a factory
Perky flowers that smell like spring sit in weedless beds
Sometimes I wonder how much they see, what they would tell me, if I asked
Would the pansies notice the way the cars roar impatiently through the street?
What do the geraniums think of next door neighbors meeting for the first time in years?
Have the petunias realized that the beautiful houses are nothing more than self-created cages
For people who live for the likes they get on Facebook from 'friends' they barely remember?
I wonder, do the trees still shudder when they catch the ever present scent of car exhaust, or has it become second nature to them as well?
And does the old oak in the yard wish for children to climb it?
'Come,' it says, 'I will stretch my branches high for you,'
Only to recall that the children are in a different home this week
This is my home, the place I'm from
I've heard that it wasn't always this way,
That every so often people would gather at a house for Mrs. Smith's tangy-but-oh-so-sweet barbecue and just talk to each other,
But that hasn't happened in a while.
Now my neighborhood is a quiet place.
The Fourth of July parades and the Easter egg hunts
aren't worth chasing away the outsiders anymore
I suppose that means we're lucky
There are places where those things can't happen because people are afraid
That's not the case here
Still, I can't help but wonder if it means that we are all outsiders now