Poem for Display in a Vacant Lot

The concrete dreams
of bindweed & beggar-tick,
burdock & wineberry,
gravid mosquito mothers,
copperheads, a wild rose
equipped with grappling hooks.

The concrete wants to be loved,
not merely walked upon.
It wants to go home with you,
clinging to your pants leg,
or at least take a bite
your skin will remember.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
The concrete was our gift
to an unimproved land
where woods & weeds ran riot.
At best, we might condescend
to preserve some open space,

a light-green stripe across the grid.
But the pavement, too,
begins to bulge open.
There are no motels in this vacancy.
The flag of our alienation
goes down to kudzu.

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10 Replies to “Poem for Display in a Vacant Lot”

  1. I really enjoyed this. I was discussing John Clare with someone today, and we were wondering how to write poetry that was both about nature and modern. I’ll pass a link to this on to them!

    1. Thanks. A little Southern imagery there for you. (I’d forgotten I’d used that “grappling hooks” image prior to today’s poem. Nuts. I hate repeating myself.)

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