“The Blue Sphere” courtesy of Shabunawaz Photography © 2010 Shahnawaz Achhiwala

Across the Street

Surveyors measure and hammer pointed stakes into the land,
orange day-glow streamers wave in breezes circling the hill.
Men with machines cut down maples, pines and oaks,
dynamite bores into granite bedrock.

Giant yellow machines claw deep into the earth.
They carve a steep driveway that sweeps down to the blind corner.
They fill the lot with house, the most expensive residence in the neighborhood,
with double doors and a picture window that reflects light from a brass chandelier.

They bring in small Bobcats to push and pull dirt,
they hold land back with stonewalls and spiky, wide-spreading shrubs.
Neighbors wonder who would buy digs on such a challenging site,
for if one had the price, wouldn’t they prefer a better lot?

A family in search of The American Dream moved in,
one breadwinner with a job not known for big financial rewards.
The children help their parents plant bright yellow and orange flowers,
they water and rake, in winter they slide into the street on silver flying saucers.

Near the end of the following fall they pack their SUV and drive away.
No one knows where they have gone or if they will be back.
Months pass. No one comes to check on the house. No one knows who owns it.
It stands dormant through a cold New England winter.

Rain, sleet and snow come to the house that remains uninhabited and unattended.
In spring I glance across the street at metal window frames catching sun, in an odd way.
A curious, broken line shines from low window corners. They drip tears.
Window seals break and torrents of water flow.

Frozen pipes had burst, water filled the space and froze.
Spring melted the ice block and water surged.
Now the house is empty, mold is growing
and yellow tape still drapes the driveway.

© 2010 S. Major-Tingey