8/18/2012

Boomers


Picture, if you will, house
after house after house of the
post-war American dream, not
Levittown, but close enough, and not
geographically, because this was Houston, 
which was as far from New York as this
neighborhood is from anyone’s
notion of today’s American dream.

See them, these near identical houses
filled with near-identical families?
Watch the Chevvies and Fords carry dads
out of their driveways at 7:42AM each day
while moms prod their two-point-five kids
to “hurry, or you’ll miss the bus” before they sit
and plan their near-identical days of cooking,
cleaning, and coffee with Carol next door.

We didn't know it then, of course, but we were
to become famous, we 2.5 kids in those houses.
We were the post-war population explosion,
the near-identical babies whose arrival would be
felt from Madison Heights to Madison Avenue.
Back then, we knew only the joy of slipping 
through the dusk, hiding and seeking with our pals,
just waiting to claim our piece of the dream with a  

Boom!

***

Written for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where the prompt was "neighborhood."

11 comments:

  1. boom...smiles....so whats up with the half kid? smiles....man i remember playing most evenings and we just made up games...those were the days...

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  2. Ah yes, the baby boomers definitely did leave their mark / are still leaving it! And I do remember those neighborhoods of similar houses too..'ranch houses' in a row....at one time the "American Dream." I enjoyed your write; and thanks for taking part in the RT Challenge!

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  3. This reads so true. I so remember! What a fantastic neighborhood poem!

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  4. Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the HedgeAugust 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Oh, those frame houses ( but so solid and well built compared to some today) - each with a tree planted by the developer. (Is that brick on the wall under the porch? Each house had a slightly different color of brink or size/style/pattern of brick in our neighborhood.)
    Nice post!

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  5. Great write!

    BOOM!! comes in various disguises .. I thought of 'Houston we have a problem' as I read about your childhood home.

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  6. Like so many American places of that time. And yet each person really did have an individual story i think. Good photo illustration too!

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  7. I used to envy the people in those houses, because my father was such an individualist, but it wasn't too long before I was glad he bought 6 acres going straight up the back side of a mountain and taught us how to build a house. There was nothing cookie-cutter about our place, and it was fun.
    I'm a boomer, too, but I think this is the first time I've seen a poem end with "Boom!" and I love it.
    A good write.
    K

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  8. I really like this a lot. It was a significant time in society and seemed to give a concrete realisation to a dream of how the world should be. Yet so many of the participants in this life were unaware of its significance - they were just kids, playing and having fun.

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  9. You just described my neighborhood...except it was Kick the Can, not Hide and Seek.

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  10. You do realize, of course, that you and I are PRE-Boomers - we are the rumbles of thunder in the distance, portents of the storm soon to come. We lead the way - we were a warning that no one paid any attention to until the Country woke up to too few schools and more kids than you could shake a stick at.

    Yeah. Those were the days.

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