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4 Acres, Avail.

By John I. Blair

Here slept a streamside glade
Spring-lush with daisies, grasses;
Deer drifted down to drink
And doves sang in the sun.

Then in rolled Texians
With herds of red-faced cattle,
Horses, sheep, whose
Meat and hides and wool

Fed and shod and dressed
Stouthearted farmers
And their bashful broods
Who walked to school

Beneath the post oak grove
That grew along the brook,
Climbed, played, courted
On rusty slides and swing sets.

The trail close by
Became a track, a road,
A crowned street,
Thoroughfare.

Year followed year.
The school gone,
Shops popped up,
A bank, boutiques.

The creek cemented,
Deer a distant memory,
Marooned in asphalt
One by one the oaks decayed,

And all the rest grew old, musty.
Then came wrecking balls,
Backhoes, bulldozers,
Dump truck convoys;

And now its empty once again,
Emptier than when it started:
Bare, torn, trampled soil
Waiting for a doubtful future,

Dreaming just a bit of doves
And meadowsweet.

2009 John I. Blair

Originally published in the March 2009
Arlington Conservation Council Post Oak  

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