Time was there was no smog in city parks.
The poisons started only at the sidewalks,
A sick fog heading to its source: high tiers,
The lofty realm of chiefs and financiers.
The public space below, an open green,
Gave sanctuary, and there the young careened
Beneath the elms, escaped their elders’ grip,
Renewed the common’s common ownership.
But elms are blighted now. Their limbs, cut clean,
Fall near heroic statues on this scene.
Exhausted air defiles the sculptor’s craft,
Reducing marble brow to sooty shaft.
On benches, though, sit folks who never split:
Thinning hair, rank jeans, faces lined in grit.