Monday, September 5, 2011

Down the Road

Down the road is an old burnt-out house,
Its silo a flagpole to the sky amid plains of corn and soy,
Streaming forward, forward,
The house craning back.

Light filters through the beams and dust,
Onto time’s leftovers, a spoon of tarnished iron,
People practical,
Even in better years when the chimney spat black.

Timbers grayed, blackened roof collapsing in
Slow, torpid decay,
Asking favors from entropy,
Aching in the fibers of its wood,

Pleading in unison
Particles waltzing in a lazy fashion,
Their steps slow to conclude the dance with the end,
Forgotten, eventual nothingness.
But the roof lies submissive to the heavens,
And as the sky breaks, it’s the one two three, again.

Across the street—it’s paved now—

Is a New Construction house made of things better than wood,
Plastics and polyurethanes,
It has a grass yard, a swing set, a TV that echoes images though
The windowpanes across the flatland on clear nights.

A lazy stream of gray drifts from the chimney,
And the blades of grass hum when the wind blows,
As to whisper the secret to the myth of content, of
Neutral tones, yet the door is red.

A child’s laugh
Bicycle wheels spinning
Helmeted heads and a tan Forester SUV

And the grass and plastics and polyurethanes are chanting,
Oh they’re all chanting, chanting,

We are the new generation.
We are the new generation.
We are the new generation.

The chant echoes across the road and dissipates into
Fields surging with green and stalks taller than your father’s head,
Its remnants weave through corn and soy and soil, to find,

A black-toothed smile silhouetted against the sky
Consuming the harvests, fears, and sunrises,
Wind whistling across its timbers of its teeth,
Like the hiss of an old woman laughing

Further down the road is a graveyard.