A Letter to Marj

Since Joe and I moved into town, things haven't been the same,
We're well enough, and busy, and the kids are glad we came.
They worry over Joe and me, you know how young ones fuss:
They mean well, but they're mother hens, and like to baby us!
We've settled in all right, though odd things still do bother me,
There's something in the water: I can taste it in the tea.

We're not allowed a rooster, due to noise pollution. Noise!
There's whining weekend mowers, next door's screaming boys,
The thump thump thump of stereos, till all hours of the night -
They don't start up till we're in bed! And then, there is the light.
Our night-time, what with streetlights, is a muddy shade of brown:
We've hardly seen a star, since Joe and I moved into town.

We watch our neighbours come and go; I s'pose they watch us too,
We know when next door feed their dog, and when they flush the loo.
Across the street, the window's like a giant TV screen,
We stared into their lounge room - and I'd rather not have seen!
We had to turn our new recliner chairs, to watch our wall,
And then we took the mirror down. It wasn't nice at all.

I know you'll keep this to yourself, I'm not complaining, Marj,
It takes some getting used to, though we manage, by and large.
Our new home's neat and tidy, like the proverb's pin,
But humans just aren't meant to live like sardines in a tin.
The worst of it's the water - did I ever mention that?
The flavour, when we clean our teeth! It lingers once we've spat.

You'll love the garden when you come, our roses are a treat.
We're happy with this little house: it's possumproof and neat,
And Joe has bought a Subaru, can you imagine, Marj!
There's no room for Toyotas in our 'double car' garage.
We'll manage, Marj. We always have. What really worries me
Is that peculiar water - you can taste it in the tea.

The shops are close, the roads are made. The garden's free of snakes,
Our gutter has no holes now, and the downpipe never breaks.
My Joe is happy in his shed, I've made Lee's hobbyhorse,
We're well, and that's a blessing; but we miss the farm, of course.
And when we think of how things were, and where we'd rather be,
We'd feel a whole lot better for a decent cup of tea.

Well, there it is. I hope you're well, and both the kids are too,
My love to all, and all the best with all the things you do.
And soon it will be Christmas! Hasn't this year gone by fast,
Another Christmas cake to make, and dried fruit's cheap at last.
It's raining here. I'll have to dash and put a saucepan out,
To make Joe's morning cuppa. 'Bye! We'll hear from you, no doubt.