Sunday, July 04, 2010

Cheryl Vatcher-Martin

The schoolhouse bell

silent since the emptied countryside
left the one room school pupiless
stood watch as a grain augur
shoved through a window
in a vain attempt to give slate roof utility
filled the classroom with surplus corn
government bins all full
a desert caused by bounty
neighborhood free of all but corn rows
and the giant machines that devour them
silent the bell rung for Liberty on the Fourth
singing in chorus throughout the land
under paintings of Washington and Lincoln
this schoolhouse bell
rang one last time for the wrecking ball
the schoolyard itself now a cornfield
littered with slate
and no chalk or the hands that held them

By Phil Specht on July 4, 2010

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