Nemo, Martin, Vera
Belated thanks for you comments.
I've posted a revision which may or may not address the terrace/shoebox issue.
the empty space within you filled with flats
and houses. Closer now, I see the scars,
the rows of new-cut doors that puncture all
your wings, the fringe of family cars, the toys
left out on lawns. And I'll admit, I feel
Though it may be problematic for all items in the list to be considered scars, I guess. I could go for something like "I see the change".
I'd though of "shoe-boxed" and discarded it, but since you raised it, I've reconsidered it and I'm warming to it again. It does seem to manage to suggest both small and and squeezed in (shoehorned); I may end up going with it.
Thanks for coming back. You're not the only one who has problems with "terraced". It does seem to be "terraced" more than "houses" per se that's the issue, since "shoebox houses" doesn't raise the same objections.
I'm glad you like it, and thanks for the suggestions, of which I do like "sterile" a lot. Though I also wonder if there's then an issue with modifying the houses and not the flats.
Thanks again all,