No one waits upon this mailbox anymore.

See this patch of grass, this gravel road

That leads to nowhere.

A tall yellow house once stood here,

And like every part of this land I saw

Again and again, I thought that it belonged to me.

Down the road the grapevines conquer

The fallen cinderblocks.

This was a barn, imposing in the starlight,

And next to it a great white farm house

Where an old man sat alone on his porch

To watch the fireworks. All gone.

In this field, once when I was young,

A Jack Russell chanced upon me. I followed him

To a deep ravine where blackberries grew,

And when the bales lay in rows at night

I climbed on top and leapt across them

One by one, the stars above my racing heart.

Then the machines rolled in and scoured the earth

To tracks of tread and mounds of mud

That flowed with orange rivulets of rain.

The rebar formed a latticework of rust

And plastic sheets that billowed in the wind

Denuded stacks of cinderblocks.

On weedy mounds the red tapes waved upon their stakes.

To me they were the ensigns of a creed

That preached an endless alchemy of forms.

The shadowed hulks of houses blotted stars

And soon their windows glowed and stirred

With scenes from other lives,

But the land was always just a land

Of earth removed, of earth reformed, of earth renewed.

The colors of our souls went over

Like the colors of the sun, already gone

But for the dusky memory

Of scattered witnesses.