It Was a Simple Town

It was a simple town.

Crows and gulls perched atop the forest
of cranes. Building. Demolishing. Rebuilding again. Never finished:
never good enough.

Main Street sliced through the town, a shadowy
trench buried beneath the concrete wave
of skyscrapers which loomed over
the dying heart of the town.
Whistles directed traffic.
Sleek leather briefcases walked their beat.
Crusted, calloused hands bounced
machine gun pogo sticks inside
a reflective orange playground.

Fluorescent proverbs cast
their commercial glow upon the dim
convoluted babble of the sleepless streets;
twenty-first story apartment curtains not enough
to barricade the buzzing of late-night profit margins.

It was a simple town.

The rising smog of the city reeked
sourly of thick yellow hypocrisy.
Flickering grins swallowed pills
that make you stronger, lose weight, last longer.
Naturally fabricated odors and scents
masked the efficient sweat of the treadmill.
“Premium Platinum Plus Memberships: Half-off!”
*(twice original price shown)

Impressionable minds and bodies chose to fast
or eat fast, devouring the super-sized sacrificial lamb
of Precedent and Morals on a sesame seed bun.
The Post-Modern family melted feebly in
the omniscient aura of plasma screen offerings. Separately
together; obediently plugged in to worship a faceless world
where fingers twitch for their next sweet fix of sixteen digit debt-free bliss.

It was a simple town

as I first knew it. Birds filled the air with song, and
a plain road meandered through town without
a traffic light – without hesitation, or thinking twice.

It wove together homes, local parks, and family-
owned shops filled with the buzzing of genuine laughter
and glowing smiles of wholesome intentions.

Neighbors cheered each other on. Competition
was never more than a friendly nudge towards
improvement – never compromising tradition.

It was a simple town, then, not now,

for the humble white steeple, the
heart of this town, was torn out,
beating – still beating…

Somewhere lost inside this town
I know I shall find it, starving for life.

It has to, it must, still be beating—
or bleeding—begging to lie in rest,

and be found,
if only it were
a simpler town.

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