1-Point Perspective

In a small town you can hear
the rupture of sledgehammers on rock,
the suck of mud at the bottom of a creek
as the water drains away after months
of rain. Your mother hears from the one-
eyed pawnbroker that her ruby pendant 
and gold-plated chain are safe with him;
and that the man who brought them there
has been put to work in a farm. In such 
a town, a group of black-shirted birds 
plays chess under willows in the park.  
The oldest philosopher is a pine tree; 
how wise it is to keep its own counsel 
as one war follows another, as the young 
descend the mountains to the city, then 
return when all their faith has run out.
The future continues to row its flat-
bottomed boat on the lake, sometimes
stirring the water with only one oar
so it goes around in small circles.

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