The Town I Remember


There was a young girl and she was from

A beautiful little town

And then it occurred to her as she stirred

That this place was now dragging her down.


When little, there was so much

That made her laugh and play

Then as she grew she realized too

How she didn’t want to stay.


The frozen lake, the grand canal

The endless big green lawns

The after-schools, the long carpools

With the sports team we played on.


It all looked great upon first glance

Those houses so lovely and huge

But keep your word in this suburb

That there’s nothing wrong with you.


If you have an drinking problem

Or an affair you want to keep quiet

Can’t pay your bills? ¬†Your son’s on pills?

Those things you’ll want to stay silent


Everything here is about the address

And the utter prestige of your zip code

Because in this place it’s an utter disgrace

For your weaknesses to be shown.


Oh if only! I could embrace the sweet warm days

I remember from most of my child-hood

Ignorant of the class warfare that was cast

In my beloved, my flawed neigbor-hood.

photo from Barbara Paulsen at