by Michael T. Young



Like these abandoned buildings along the boulevard
some good ideas can fall into disrepair: dark
in their vacancies, whole sections of wall broken.
Year after year weather beats deeper into
their exposed beams and we learn to live around
their uselessness: take a different bus to work,
find another store to get the milk and eggs.
In fact, in this city, failure to renovate
has squeezed some inhabitants into high-rises
at the edge of town. Complaint to the council
of local nostalgias changes nothing since
their charter suggests that, in time, these old
habitations will take on the grandeur of ruins.
Like the remains of Greece, they will light
the glorious passion of early thought. Though
they may also conjure an embarrassing ghost or two.
But some citizens seem willing to chance it,
knowing, as they do, it’s a matter of wind
and the tone it takes, howling through all
those broken windows, and why, on stormy days,
the people gather to sit on nearby stoops,
listening so closely they hardly seem to move.   





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