Where once there were railroads, there now are dry weeds,
The tragedy hits the small town, which concedes,
Its citizens flee the continued decline
Of commerce and finance, which soon realign
In cities metropolis, feeding demand
For more and more money while rich firms expand.
Its Main Street once bustled with people and cars,
With art shops expanding their sidewalk bazaars,
The comings and goings of patrons who shop
And follow commands from their one traffic cop.
The diner was full at the end of the block,
Especially lunch time when townfolk would flock.
So what of the plight of the rural home town,
When factories fail and their markets close down?
The land left to grazing won't mean very much
Compared to the lifestyle, the township's quaint touch,
To knowing your neighbors and watching kids grow,
They'll never be hamlets like those long ago.
The schoolhouse is empty, replaced by a bus
That carries the pupils for miles to discuss
What history teaches of progress and time,
And how they are better in cities with crime,
With corporate farmers and Wall Street affairs
With leaders who cater to rich millionaires.
There certainly can be an argument made
For moving away when economies fade,
But better to gather and plan for success,
To rally the neighbors and fight the distress.
Complacency gone and its failures ignored,
The life of the home town may still be restored.
Jack has published over 350 poems in his career, many accompanied by his own photography. He specializes in a view of the commonplace and Americana.