Peter Emery: Fitting In

Cosmetic titillation
of our miniature estate:
backache, sweat and blisters
as we struggle to placate
the wicked tongues of neighbours
so anxious to maintain
the ‘niceness’ of the area,
no thought to cost or pain.

Happy when we came here,
quite taken with how neat
the properties around us,
now we must compete
to keep up with the Joneses
to show we are the type
who wouldn’t let the side down.

Although I shouldn’t gripe
it gets right up my nose.
I cannot face their scorn:
so I sneeze and wheeze and suffer
just to cut the bloody lawn!