A KIND OF QUARRIED MARBLE

— after Horace

The yellow beasts of Archer Daniels Midland  
maw the soils our fathers plowed
and the lights of Starbucks out-shout
the stars. Our scattered, fished-out ponds

are puddles now beside these blue-glazed pools
that wink and plink beneath their arching screens
where apple trees threw down green
shadows once and our aunts and uncles, pulling

down its fruit, put away a penny.
Just 60 years ago, Ike, and flinty Truman
returned to their small homes and strolled the commons
their own forefathers mapped once without a nano

chip or laser. How hot our houses in the summer,
and how gladly we paid our cookie-jar admissions
to lower ourselves into the air conditioned
dark of Saturday afternoon’s cinema

and rise refreshed to the street lamps’ hum and marvel
at what our hands had rendered: the mortar and brick
of courthouse, the school our dollars grudgingly erected—
our secret pride a kind of quarried marble.

  first published in Little Star

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