The immigrants

A madman had sawed off the arm
of the Civil War statue in the park,
and the perfectly sane City Council
had severed his and grafted it,
still bleeding, as replacement.
And smoke from six new factories
had turned our orchards grey
and given all our fruit metallic flavors
until we dared not kiss our wives
for fear of tasting on their breath
parables of dying metal and machines.

That is why we moved away
and learned to live off healthy skies
and learned to kiss under rainy windows
without wondering what monuments
the rain would wash away.

Published in the chapbook, The Copper Husk Allegory (New York: Raw Sky Productions, 1971).

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