A Promise Died
Up on Oly’s westside
Down the rural, wooded
blind-corner stretch of Cooper Point
there grows a lot of goldenrod
and grass up to the knees.
In amongst what used to be
that backwoods brush beneath the trees
on 14 Avenue, you’ll see
a labyrinth of empty streets
and lonely lamps that never light
The ghosts of all that could have been: a man
who steps out just to drive to work
and walk his dog just once a day
never looking up to say hello
Houses, I say, not homes
windows dark, tall trees
bushes growing all around
just enough space between the leaves to spy
on unsuspicious passerby.
And lawns are always neatly trimmed
to show and tell, but not let in
for secrets live in empty closets
look at them, their eyes are haunted.
All the perfect, hidden houses
All those inside wants to his own
Every one looks just the same–
Just another John Malone.
I see these people wash their cars
In driveways that were never there.
The end of the Boom Decade:
houses eat the woods aplenty
and scattered up from earth in droves
all the cheapest land, like this, ate up
Some of them were red or blue,
every one the same.
Need it be said that it all fell apart?
Too many houses, too little space
A modern-day Gold Rush, it was a race
then the Great Bubble popped, and in this case,
the Ghosts of Excess stare you
dead in the face.
So much promise, now empty and rotten
this place has long since been forgotten
two years, three years, four years, five
and never a single house in sight
Crumbling roads, broken lamps
–the symbol of a promise died.