i- ruins poem

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.


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