Edited by Andrea Spofford | Barry Kitterman | Amy Wright
Tried and Failed
All the Niagara barrelers shocked
at their disintegrating shells,
the ships foundering the edge
of the known world, bodies
decorating the deck, barnacles
of ruin, the factories and farms
abandoned to the elements all of us,
arm in arm, could never tame.
The ants, at least, have their excuse
of utter mindlessness, scent-drawn
along the landscape, tireless
rebuilders of their shoe-scuffed hill.
The West is full of broke-tooth fences
drawn around paper homesteads
long buried in the earth.
What hopes they had, train-fed
cross-country, the land burning
gold under the unchecked sun.