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A Roadside Stand


The little old house was out with a little new shed 
In front at the edge of the road where the traffic sped, 
A roadside stand that too pathetically plead, 
It would not be fair to say for a dole of bread, 
But for some of the money, the cash, whose flow supports 
The flower of cities from sinking and withering faint. 
The polished traffic passed with a mind ahead, 
Or if ever aside a moment, then out of sorts 
At having the landscape marred with the artless paint 
Of signs that with N turned wrong and S turned wrong 

Offered for sale wild berries in wooden quarts, 
Or crook-necked golden squash with silver warts, 
Or beauty rest in a beautiful mountain scene. 
You have the money, but if you want to be mean, 
Why keep your money (this crossly), and go along. 
The hurt to the scenery wouldn't be my complaint 
So much as the trusting sorrow of what is unsaid: 
Here far from the city we make our roadside stand 
And ask for some city money to feel in hand 
To try if it will not make our being expand, 
And give us the life of the moving pictures' promise 
That the party in power is said to be keeping from us. 

It is in the news that all these pitiful kin 
Are to be bought out and mercifully gathered in 
To live in villages next to the theatre and store 
At the shiny desert with spots of gloom 
That might be people and are but cedar, 
Have no purpose, have no leader, 
Have never made the first move to assemble, 
And so are nothing to make her tremble. 
She can think of places that are not thus 
Without indulging a 'Not for us!”
Life is not so sinister-grave. 
Matter of fact has made them brave. 

He is husband, she is wife. 
She fears not him, they fear not life. 
They know where another light has been 
And more than one to theirs akin, 
But earlier out for bed tonight, 
So lost on me in my surface flight. 
This I saw when waking late, 
Going by at a railroad rate, 
Looking through wreaths of engine smoke 
Far into the lives of other folk.