Death of a Small Town
Virginia Lee Bliss
Sweet lily’s scent in early May,
Soft whisper songs of northern jays
Evoking dreams of bygone days—
Our vanished town of yesterday…
A laughing brook here used to flow
Near cattails blowing to and fro.
Now stubby boxwood soldiers grow
Between the condos, row on row.
What was a pocket park with shade
Where carefree children laughed and played,
And pines and sugar maples swayed,
Alas, is now a games arcade.
Here stood a weeping willow tree,
And cows content were grazing free
Within the lea that used to be.
Now in its place—an asphalt sea.
Spring calls to mind the small café
Where elders passed the time of day.
Now servers at a drive-thru bray,
“Please take your order. On your way!”
Recall O’Brien’s grocery store?
The cat would lounge upon the floor,
And Paddy’d greet ye at the door.
Now in its place, a superstore.
The hardware store, the Pet Supply,
The drugstore and the shops nearby—
The Five-and-Dime, the Fish ‘n Fly—
Sweet memories of days gone by.
Greed stalked its victims, store by store.
And one by one, each closed its door.
In dreams, we see our town of yore.
Alas—our town—it is no more.