Sestina to the Fox Hills Neighborhood Board Regarding My Lack of Compliance with the Holiday Decoration Guidelines as Outlined in the 10/13/12 Meeting Minutes.
Though the Board is selling holiday cheer
In the form of 8” diameter mailbox bows,
I already have in my possession, an attention-
Getting 9” bow, which showcases my individuality
With its green pinstripe, unlike the solid red bows of my neighbors.
Please reconsider my request to use this bow, which you previously denied.
It seems unnecessarily cruel to deny
Me this chance to spread cheer
To my holiday guests and neighbors
By forbidding the use of my slightly oversized bow.
In this cul-de-sac of three house plans varied only by an individual’s
Choice in door color, I have few ways to command attention.
Now that I have your attention,
I propose that no request for alternative holiday displays be denied,
Without the Board first speaking to the individual
In person or via conference call done in the most cheerful
Manner possible, especially at this stressful time, when we all bow
To the pressures of gift-buying and cookie exchanges with our neighbors.
I have discussed this issue, at length, with my next-door neighbors
And they do not feel that my bow takes undue attention
away from their own bows
Purchased from the Board that, I remind you, has also denied
My request to buy a bow for my mother on Pheasant Run, simply to bring her some cheer,
As if displaying the same bow two streets over would negate our cul-de-sac’s individuality.
I prize a person’s right to express his or her individuality
Provided that it not cause undue stress for the neighbors.
I believe the refreshing nonconformity of my bow would be cheered
By all those who pass by it, and if not, well then, attention
Will be paid to this issue again, and I will stand by your original denial
And replace my 9” bow with the Board-sanctioned 8” bow.
However, I feel the need to warn you, first it’s a bow
Then it’s repression of all individuality.
Are you willing to deny
The rights of your friends and neighbors?
Thank you for your attention.
P.S. Going bowless is not an option because my neighbors
Might feel that I’m demanding, at their expense, individual attention.
I’m afraid they’ll deny my election bid for Board VP, making my holiday cheerless.
SUGGESTED READSDo They Know It’s Christmas After All?
by Henry Alford (1/4/2000)
Let Nothing You Dismay
by Mark O'Donnell (12/8/1998)
Let Nothing You Dismay, Part II
by Mark O'Donnell (12/11/1998)
RECENTLYStuff Superman Overhears: A Three-Minute Excerpt
by Thomas Wharton (5/26/2015)
Hungover Bear and Friends: Keen Eye, Kind Heart
by Ali Fitzgerald (5/26/2015)
List: Your Ex-Boyfriend Tim Won a Sweet Prize at Dave & Buster’s Because You Lurked His Most Recent Ex’s Pinterest and Six Other Ways You Are Positively Impacting Tim’s Life with Your Self-Destructive Social Media Habits
by Larissa Zageris (5/26/2015)