Not far beneath the mulch and manicure
This place bears the marks of three generations past.
Here and there, houses with slate roofs
That no one here could afford to replace
Wrought-iron gates and fragments of fences
Standing alone, vine mounded in what are now vacant lots
Brick walls – look closely – laid in patterns known by immigrant masons
Long forgotten now.
I’ve seen a few of these bricks;
the red bricks of which this place was made
Half buried in alleys or at the edge of the woods
They bear the stamp of a local kiln, long gone.
Plants on hillsides in steep banks that the mowers cannot reach
Overgrown now, these shrubs and vines were once planted and tended
By those who came before
Who saw in this place, by the look of their remnants
Beauty and peace
They brought the aesthetics of a regency estate
To these clouded hills.
The first (and only?) aristocrats of this little town
Who cut down the forest
And found the level places
And built homes with tall windows
That overlooked the long, broad valley
To see and be seen.