If you stand perfectly still, this short walk from the river
you can hear the echoes., the past heartbeats of the city.
Wolves padding quietly and then howling at the chase,
Shawnee turni gg their head sharply at the sound of
a tree falling from one last swing of an axe, saws and
sharp tools bringing a home to last by the shores.
People shouting along the river, their wares onboard
the steaming ships, the flatboats, the loads of
pigs and oats, lumber, whiskey, slaves
to and from, up river down river a steady flow of
a City's life being created.
The screaming of Irish hate over the draft, Confederates
moving silent through the crows as the flames lick through
the buildings the sounds of paradox in the bright haze.
The long low belching of the trains rattling along
the burnished tracks without stop
The sound of the wagons moving slowly up and down
the streets, the heritage of plague to flu looking for
the dead, the long lined shuffle two decades later
from the jobless, the homeless, the hopeless.
And then the trains again, duets with the first
large engine planes and the flood of monochrome
passengers, olive or white the child-men on their
way to make a world, unmake a world,
survive the sounds and smoke of war.
Unlike past sounds the guitars crescendo the
counterpoint with the riots of this year, that year
the escalating of firearms and their sharp, strident
announcements and these are the echoes of the city
weaving around the sounds of engines and tires and
the soft, soft cooing of a pigeon before it
skitters away from a laughing child in the CIty.