This town had seen better days,
In years before farming life declined,
Before big cities drew its next generations,
Before people had careers and life to self-fulfill.
Long balconies wrap around old Victorian houses,
That had not been a home for anyone,
For quite a long time,
Large trees cast shadows over quiet streets,
Leading to a spacious town center,
Dark stone city hall looms large in the middle,
Like a giant spider resting in its web.
Time paces by here by the season,
Minutes, hours, days, melt together into the whisper of the wind in the trees,
City Park greens open at the edge of town,
Idle playground fades slowly into rust.
Empty cages carve the rocky hillside,
Remanence of a small zoo for kids delight,
Here a roaring lion once laid jaded,
Hallucinating the small grass before him for a lost savannah.
Stand still in the wild grass,
With eyes closed, listen,
For the metallic squeal of swings and merry-go-round,
The occasional roar of the tiger,
The call of a parent,
And the laughter of children,
Who left their childhood in this town,
That will forever rest among the yellowing cornfields,
On the rough and unforgiving earth.