Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Tore Down the Interstate
The city once rejoiced
being born'd from wild, muddy waters
and living a wild, muddy life
'til the serpent came...
I tried to ignore the threatening groans behind me,
I wanted to enjoy this hot summer riverwind
within this, my urban village.
But eventually I had to turn and face the monster behind.
For the river in my city had been cut off from humanity -
And humanity from the river -
by means of a colossal road
Towering overhead, rumbling incoherently,
It hollered down at me.
It moaned, roared, dusty-raftered menace it
breathed hot and loud upon me.
And I, in tar-hot anger, hollered back.
"Enough!" I yelled. "To hell with you and
your rampage through our village!"
And I tore down the interstate.
Hammer and sweat-blackened arms,
I destroyed this giant altar to the false gods of our society.
I knocked over the pillars and cast its stones
upon the empty concrete below.
The highway, caught off guard by my bold confrontation,
screeched in its demise and
for a long time its horrible scream was heard.
Eventually, the dust cleared and
the riverfront rested, and the Ohio rolled by.
Where the stones landed, I built houses.
Simple riverfront shanties of the finest used concrete.
I dug up the pavement and, to the delight of the sun above,
planted willows and sycamore and river birch,
returning them home.
Although no one was physically hurt,
many thought they were dying.
They had tied their destiny to the highway and,
with its death, they felt dead as well.
But the city, she rejoiced.
She was born again, baptized in wild, muddy waters
which had been lost, but were no longer.