Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2019  Vol. 18 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Great Road

Rain almost falls.
The scent of clover
and car exhaust
caresses. Roses
spill off porches
of leaning houses
built back when trains
were still built downtown.
Tarps flap rooflines,
windows stuffed with rags,
and sagging air
conditioners, dripping.
The city pool,
with waters chilly
and clean, waits for
Memorial Day’s
children, cracks patched
for at least this year.
Mufflers weep drops
of water heavy
with metals while,
a full four hundred
fathoms south, down
the deep-green continent,
a child pats mud
iridescent with oil.
In my town men
walk the scaffolding
set between church
spires, their Gilded Age
timbers bowing
like old bones. The men
balance on fine
gray lines, a grid
dissolved by sky.  

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