Suburban Eclogue

Brian Simoneau

Walk with me down the block. Notice
the rows of maples, perfectly
straight, evenly spaced from the road
and one another, precise lines
running yard to yard, remainder
of careful plans, prosperity’s
spread to what once was forest, once
farm—every golden age remade
over and over, parceled out
and subdivided when footpath
turned bridleway turned turnpike turned
trolley turned traffic. History
sped up with each expanding step
but look: I have found in my house
a spot where, lying on the floor,
I can see no other house, no
poles, no wires stretching away
along the road, no road at all
but only tree, only sky, bare
limbs framed in my window the way
the first name on the deed thought his
prospect would always stay unchanged
in all the ways it changed with him.
We can utter our every wish
and scrutinize all the old maps,
but we must come to understand
there is never a going back
and too: future versions of us
will walk this very block (ruins
unearthed from layers of fallout
or avenue of steeples, steel
and glass) and they will imagine
this moment of chalk-drawn sidewalks
and mulch-bordered lawns, worthy days
to recall, a glimpse of something
a new angle might help them find.

Brian Simoneau is the author of the poetry collections No Small Comfort (Black Lawrence Press, 2021) and River Bound (C&R Press, 2014). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, the Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Salamander, Waxwing, and other journals. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, he lives near Boston with his family.

Comments are closed.