Magazine | March 28, 2016, Issue

Poetry

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.

Len Krisak is an American poet. He has taught at Brandeis, Northeastern University, and Stonehill College.

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