[I note that some of the longer lines spread a word or two a line down. The single words or short phrases by themselves in this piece belong to the lines above them. —r]

They want to build a box store in the northern end of town:
if you ask the city council, they think manna’s falling down;
if you ask the local shoppers, they all pretty well agree:
free parking and low prices sound like heaven don’t you see.

It won’t take long for council to sign on with every permit:
and the planners are exited and the love is flowing surfeit;
and the shoppers are so happy they save up for opening day:
free parking and low prices soon will never go away.

Pretty soon the ground is broken, everybody makes a speech:
the tourists will be flocking in, and heaven’s within reach;
prosperity for everyone and shopping to the skies
free parking and low prices make a shopper’s fever rise.

Bulldozers strip back the ground and soon foundation’s in:
and cranes arrive to rig the steel and slap on all the tin;
and pretty soon the parking lot is paved and marked with stripes:
free parking and low prices open up on Friday night.

The crowds arrive, the traffic jams, and all is as it should be:
the ribbon’s cut, politicos make speeches sweet as could be;
and pretty soon the shoppers flood the aisles and all is well:
free parking and low prices certainly can ring the bell.

Far off in the BIA downtown the merchants are alone:
their stores are all so empty you would think nobody’s home;
it won’t be long before their windows all are boarded up:
free parking and low prices mean they’ve finally had enough.

The wheels of trucks are pounding down the highways to our city:
the roads they use are wearing out, and fuel’s up, more’s the pity;
it looks like taxes have to rise, and environment’s going down:
free parking and low prices have a cost for any town.

The tourists never come here, we’re the same as everyone else:
’cause everyone has a box store, offshore products on the shelves;
too bad we gave up on the things that made us so distinct:
free parking and low prices stole our hearts and jobs—it stinks!

The moral of this story is as simple as ever was:
look a gift horse in the mouth as the Trojans learned because
for everything free there’s a hidden cost as you may finally think:
free parking and low prices stole our hearts and jobs—it stinks!

So please don’t let this tragedy destroy your town and lives:
money sucking box stores turn your downtown into dives;
think ahead and plan it out and keep our jobs at home:
free parking and low prices—just leave well enough alone.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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