Suburbia

By AB

Suburbia:

We drove to your parents’ home, out in suburbia talking about all the things you wish you could change.
Like that man you see for help with your head and the way you see yourself, or the way your parents run their house.
But that’s life in suburbia; where house wives drink all day, as the husbands work for the man for just enough pay.
You told me all about all the dysfunction in the neighborhood, like Ms. Robinson’s gay son.
And the kid who used to play with guns until one day he got mad and then he got sad and then nothing at all.
But that’s life in suburbia; where the kids aren’t all right, and the parents all fight.
So we hid in your room and rocked out to all your favorite bands as we got high and dreamt of distant lands.
We talk about white flight and we stay up all night, then we do something brand new, well at least new to you…
But that’s life in suburbia; where love like ours is just so taboo and everyone pretends to know the real you.
After we’re done I give you a hug and you tell me this wasn’t just a fling and that you’d like to make us a thing.
You told me about all your secrets and I told you mine, while Kurt sang along in a high pitched whine.
But that’s life in suburbia; where the kids’ romances are built overnight as the parents struggle and sleep apart at night.
But it didn’t matter to us, as we sat together in your new car, wishing and wanting for this to go far.
But it wasn’t meant to be, or at least that’s what you told me, as you drove me home, out of your suburbia.
But that’s life in suburbia; where it’s fun to play until the end of the day…

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15 Comments

  1. Emily on September 28, 2022 at 11:15 AM

    I really like how you told your story in a relatable way and not from a cheesy narrative. The rhyming was very good, not to overbearing while still enough to where the reader understands it is supposed to rhyme. I find that your breaking of lines to be perfect. Very nice job overall.

  2. Fatima B on September 28, 2022 at 11:53 AM

    I love the feelings that are brought up in this poem and I’d love to read more of your work. It reminded me of the neighborhood I grew up in and the silly romances that occurred there.

  3. Julia Santosuosso on October 2, 2022 at 5:20 PM

    This was a beautifully painful expression of the truth that resides within suburbia and the world as a whole. It was gentle, but raw and honest. Those are some of the most incredible characteristics of a poem; or at least to me. I love reading work that not only flows like poetry but that speaks to me from a variety of different directions. This did just that. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Ainsley Owens on October 6, 2022 at 10:17 AM

    Hi AB,
    The theme of this poem is extremely powerful, and I found several lines that stood out to me that I really liked. The idea of a seemingly perfect society being miserable and dysfunctional behind closed doors is something that is very real, especially in the United States. The way that you were able to write this so vividly and incorporate how individuals in this society struggle while maintaining a happy, successful façade was eye-opening and very interesting to read. One line that I really enjoyed reading was “that man you see for help with your head and the way you see yourself” – this line speaks volumes to mental health in today’s youth, and I also just really like the wording. The reference to things that are stigmatized in society being ignored or ostracized, like the “dysfunction” in suburbia being the gay son, or the kid who played with guns until he eventually felt nothing wrong, was another very powerful aspect of your poem. In a perfect suburbia, I’d imagine these things are shoved down and hidden to maintain the image. The repeated line of “but that’s life in suburbia”, was another part of the poem I really liked. I love the theme of young love as an escape in this type of society, and the reality of taboo love in these societies is another powerful theme. I reread this poem a few times because the wording was beautifully done, and there were so many real, hidden aspects of life mentioned that I wanted to make sure I appreciated them all. This poem says so much about societal standards and how they ruin people’s lives; the way these parents disregard their families to uphold their appearance, the way that what they show the outside world does not match what goes on inside their homes and own heads, and I think I relate to this from my own childhood, so that may be part of the reason I love this poem so much. The ending, “But it wasn’t meant to be, or at least that’s what you told me, as you drove me home, out of your suburbia.
    But that’s life in suburbia; where it’s fun to play until the end of the day” is sad, but I think it makes such a powerful point that there is a distinct line drawn between different societal groups, and that in certain societies, different types of love are taboo regardless of how strong they may be. I loved reading this poem; the topics covered, and the language used were amazing.

  5. HL on October 7, 2022 at 2:37 PM

    I love how this poem touches upon very relatable, contemporary problems people deal with – mental health, sexuality, dysfunctional family life, the judgement of others in our community – but it manipulates these topics to shed light on the subtle, fleeting respite of an ardent relationship, something beautiful that shines amid the chaos but only for a short period of time. There are a few techniques that make the lines even more impactful too: the repetition of “But that’s life in suburbia” is particularly eye-catching because each time it’s repeated, it’s given a new meaning with different context. I also adore the rhyme scheme; it pops up here and there to add emphasis to certain points being made, which is very effective. You clearly have the skills of a poet, and I can’t thank you enough for letting me read your work. Keep writing!!

  6. jennie chen on October 10, 2022 at 3:02 AM

    I think it’s so interesting to write about suburbia, when it’s often taken for granted or considered one of the blander parts of American existence. But you included a lot of little details about what it’s like to live in the suburbs, which really helped the poem feel alive. Although this seems like a forgettable part of living, I think growing up in the suburbs really does affect a person, which is what you’ve described here.

  7. Mackenzie Curry on October 16, 2022 at 9:44 PM

    Hi AB!
    I loved this poem!! I mean it was really great it was a change of pace from other poems I have read. I’ve never read something like this before! As someone who didn’t grow up in suburbia it was really interesting to see how other people lived and grew up. This showed me that what people like me see from the outside is not a good representation of the real suburbia. I like how you added subtle hints of how mental draining it really was growing up there like Ms. Robinson’s gay son. I do wonder if what happened to him was because he was gay or mental illness, anyway. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone but specifically me right now! You’re doing great! Don’t forget that!

  8. KC on October 23, 2022 at 11:31 PM

    AB,

    Wow, I really enjoyed your poem! The imagery you create is powerful. The contrasts between young love and feuding spouses is stark. You captured the monotony of suburban life. Keep writing!

  9. Kate on October 24, 2022 at 4:21 PM

    This reads like a song I’d love to hear in a minor key. Sweet, sad imagery and a lilting refrain.

  10. Tiff on October 25, 2022 at 11:16 AM

    You’ve really brought me back to my youth reading this. I love the way your words paint the story and how it flows. I’m so impressed by the imagery you are able to create and how you are able to express your perspective. Keep up the fantastic work, you are amazing!

  11. Jenny on October 28, 2022 at 2:28 PM

    This was really touching – it brought me back to moments in my teen years. The way you weaved sadness and hope throughout, leaving the reader with a sense of nostalgia and melancholy was beautiful.

  12. ken on October 30, 2022 at 10:23 PM

    This was such an emotional piece. You used your words so well and readers are able to follow your story so easily. It is emotional and so good. Keep up the good work and never stop writing!!

  13. Amelia on October 31, 2022 at 12:01 AM

    The repetition of the word suburbia truly exemplifies the feeling of this poem. I truly enjoyed reading it and believe that this poem is beautifully written and packed full of meaning. Continue to write you truly have a gift!

  14. Alexis on October 31, 2022 at 9:42 PM

    AB,

    Your poem brings great awareness to those growing up with these adversities. You open up about mental illness about perception within oneself and the upbringing of poor parenting. This is something unfortunately many people face. It is saddening that the majority of kids in the neighborhood faced the same and similar struggles due to their parents. I am sure in a bittersweet way it made you guys closer. Having a group that understands and relates, allows you to feel less alone, but at the same time it is sad this is what you had to relate to besides the similar music and dreams of another place. I am so sorry for that. I am also sorry about the end of your relationship. Unfortunately relationships end due to many reasons such as compatibility, life circumstances, and other factors. I know that doesn’t always make it feel better, but it is a good reminder that it is not always your own fault for it ending. Relationships can also be a learning experience for people to work on themselves.

  15. Lucy Elliott on November 3, 2022 at 12:52 PM

    Thank you for sharing such a touching and honest poem. It shows how there is so much more beneath the surface. Appreciate the honesty

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