Poem of the Week: Parade of Oaks and Iron Horses

BY HARRY WAITZMAN

The oaks remaining along Old Lake Road
parade in ragged formation. The few pines
are solid citizens, straight and unbending.
There are holes in all ranks where lightning
struck and insects drilled.

Nearby, the shade of trees is disrupted
by the widening of Main. A new sidewalk
runs from nowhere to nowhere, unrolling
slabs of mythic progress. Pride is paved
by Portuguese masons and politicians.

Once pines were slashed into telegraph poles,
and wires were strung from Omaha to San Francisco.
Copper and pine connected the nation.
Iron horses raced on railroad tracks. Hear the clicks
of victory at Manila Bay and the Argonne?