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“Lost in Suburbia” -- poetry by Van Damiani

Hot sun does not deter the boy shooting a basketball in the driveway

Past the hoop, green leaves are still on a cloudless day

A block to the left and three up four polos engage in semantics

The party meanders on around them

A boy sits in the chair on the lawn reading a book,

At the same time eyeing the plastic table at the other end of the yard

Not for what's on it but for those who reside in its vicinity

The mosquitos shatter the idyllic scene and the boy turns the page

Elsewhere, a girl looks out of her window

The pool she did not dig lies outside

Her thoughts betray a deep desire, as deep as the pool

Yet she turns from the window nonetheless and retreats to her desk

Scared of what would be exposed should she end her ensconcement

In the East, there is a field

A game is being played

The players ebb and flow around the ball

The parents look on, before notifications overwhelm their parental sensibilities

In the West there is a house on a street

A gray wall marks the end of its yard

But it can’t keep out the sounds of hundreds of cars

In the center of town, a man, always a man, sits

He hopes to laugh at what he hears but he is always shocked

Overwhelmed by his own self importance

He is run over and lost in it all

In the supermarket, the people walk for hours

Oppressed by fluorescent lights

Pained as they may be, only half realize it

The cart gesticulates across the reflective floors,

Jumping over its own broken wheel

In the park the children play

Far from the slides, in their own world

The older ones scoff when they pass,

The much older ones sigh

In one house,

A house with an uneven yard,

A nobody chaffs at the attitudes of those surrounding them

A garden party life is not one they will accept

Regardless of whether or not they realize their quest is based on vanity

They wish to turn into somebody, anyone at all

Lest they become what they fear the most:

The bargain-brand, stripped-down equivalent of whatever they aspire to be

These people are the kind where no matter their direction, can never reach the end of either side

To the nobody, they are simply fake

Whether or not the nobody is correct, only they can determine


Van Damiani is in the 11th grade at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia. He is a founder of both his school’s debate club and literary magazine. He spends his free time writing and playing guitar with some video gaming on the side. He hopes to study abroad in Italy someday and eventually beat Elden Ring.

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