From a distance
the white houses and white churches glow,
poetry on a hillside.
in our technological tube,
Norton, Virginia comes
and goes, a cosmopolitan crumb
sustained by dwindling black blood
pumping through railroad veins.
dilapidated shacks and crumbling shelters lean toward chaos.
Rusty pickups clutter littered garages.
In weedy yards, pocked by angular bushes,
plastic gnomes and elves pose, motionless,
tacky plastic mythology-
And the white houses and white churches remain
(on the hillside)
I wrote this after a train ride through Norton, VA. I tired to describe the sweet melancholy I felt at these signs of cultural decay accompanied by stubborn clinging to existence.