36 WEST PITMAN
What witches, what magicians, but . . . they needed
Sixty years — the slowest sleight of hand
On record. Did they fail to understand
We were sufficiently distracted on
Our own already, as the years receded?
Still, they waved their wands, and what went gone
Were placid, tidy, gabled fronts, not brave
At all (no need) but plain- and vinyl-sided,
Clapboarded, with mums at their foundations;
Neat, painted bungalows that could not save
Themselves from now; the seedy transformations;
Lawns in weeds; the front-porch screens elided;
Junkers blocked on unpaved driveways. Well.
Though sluggish mages, still they cast their spell.