There’s a city I know
Once just a cow town
with plenty of trees and dusty roads.
Diverse groups of people
Seeking to live equal.
Weather just right
no desert, no snow.
If you travel down Broadway
it serves as a hallway to the center
of the city’s heart.
Yet something is changing
there’s been rearranging
in my community known as Oak Park.
Much like Columbus
developers have stumbled upon us
and see an opportune time.
Shaken some hands and bought up the land
while it’s cheap cause of the people you’ll find.
Bit by bit I am witnessing it,
Now coined the “New Oak Park.”
Bourgeoisie me’s, the Ghetto you’s
divided in two still, danger after dark.
The question I’m asking which no one is grasping…
“Tell me, what is community?”
Proof of purchase? Profit made?
Location and proximity?
The value of generations? Age old history?
Common groups of people? Or all types of families?
Do the lords of the land want us all?
Or only those who can afford it?
If we don’t own land, do we silently stand?
Watching others smile and ignore us?
Are we solving our problems together?
Or drawing a line that divides?
Are you active on what affects others?
Or only focused on your prize?
Is it hard to understand the struggles of a
community you do not know?
Are you friends with a council member, but not
the pastor, prostitute or wino?
Are you serving those who drive miles to come?
Yet look past your elderly neighbor?
Do you brag about your investment?
Yet forget to show the hood your favor?
Do you have relationships with others?
Do you support a local cause?
Do you volunteer at schools?
Do you fairly give out jobs?
Do you take advantage of your status?
Are you privileged with the best?
Do you share that hand of cards with those who you
know are trying their very best?
Is Oak Park your place of business?
What makes it your community?
Do you give or take? Make or break the co-
existence in true unity?
Is this too much to ask?
Will it disrupt the city’s big new theme?
So what is community, if we can’t ALL reside?
If we all cannot own?
If we all cannot live?
If we all cannot learn?
If we all cannot give?
What is community?
If we segregate just to gain?
What is community without shared our joy and pain?
What is community if we watch the slow
I welcome the new you, but I refuse to die.