People built my first two houses.
But it didn’t work out. The county came
And tore them down. The concrete was too rigid.
Not enough water. There was enough blame
To go around. Not to mention,
The foundation was weak, on top of which
You could smell the sewage from the nearby plant
And the truck with streetlamps was stuck in the ditch.
So they’re lighting the road one bulb at a time,
At least they’re getting somewhere. Last time,
The people trashed the place, even
When they met to fight crime
Or clean the streets, they were squirreling
Kickbacks, the philanthropists,
And all the projects had mold under
The floors—but the happy tourists!
When this mess gets straightened out,
There will be some real kind deeds,
Not the social justice with
A megaphone, whose victim bleeds.
Then we’ll have a lovely house,
The Chief Builder himself will build it,
With lots of light and a charity box
That can be unlatched when people have filled it.
--You’ll be all right, don’t be afraid,
We’ll have an island, maybe in
New Zealand, for all of the grifters, from
Dearborn, Michigan, to Berlin,
—You’ll be all right. Your friends will be
Your friends. They’ll come to visit you,
Most of all, this lovely home--
And the people who will light the avenue,
And build the home above the clouds,
Are the people who clear their inner plain,
Who interpret cracks in the stone, who find
The fruit tree and the ripe grain
Yaacov David Shulman