Infrastructure Swallows A City

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

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It was an ancient city.
All the young people left
as soon as they could

but the old remained
in their mortgaged huts
surrounded by evergreens

that offered a haven
for cardinals and jays,
robins and finches.

No matter the season
birds flew from tree limbs
to feed on seed and suet

put out by too many widows
in slippers and aprons and
too few wives wearing

rouge and lipstick
for terminal husbands they
planned to stack on pyres.

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Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


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