Thursday, November 04, 2004

Urban Renewal

The slums are down
the worn-out factories are down.
All that was iniquitous
in living and in working
is erased.

Teetering tenements,
which in their age-grayed walls and windows
looked less than half alive
though sheltering the teeming families within,
began dissolving months ago
(nobody knows or asks where the families went),
leaving shameless, unapologetic blanks
that yawn the city half to death.

Ancient factories --
vast wood and brick geometries where
belts, motors, wheels, and men
made life go, loud by day, subdued
under strange blue lights at night --
cascaded awesomely, once life within was gone.
(Wreckers felled them with dispatch.) Like mulch
they lie, to quicken the new town's rising.

Someone, please ask
the planners how to renovate
integrity and vision,
dismantle bigotry, build


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