Thursday, May 29, 2014

What Workers Built

What Workers Built

While walking home from work today, I saw
the roads and sidewalks, elevated rails,
the houses – and the rows and rows of trees.

And all of these were silent, mute and still,
and yet it seemed they quietly spoke to me.

For as I walked, in end-of-day fatigue,
I thought of those who’d worked their days like me…

The city’s workers built those asphalt roads,
those concrete sidewalks and those iron rails –
and all the drains beneath, the workers laid.

And houses then were built, on vacant lots,
by other workers, in their many trades.

And yet more workers planted rows of trees –
so ravaged, ‘prisoned earth could yield again
its balm of grace to salve demented souls…

And those, insane, like I – and you, perhaps –
who dwell in cities, feeding off its veins,
while laboring to feed its grinding mills –
can walk these city streets, at end of day,
with gratitude – or not – to those before,
who built those things – and even planted trees,
so from our madness we could pause – and sense
there still is sanity and beauty left…

2014 May 29th, Thu. 8:21 pm
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

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