Photo by: Emily Wilensky

When the country built I-66 across

Arlington, County, I do not know

If the planners thought

Of themselves renewing anything at all

Here in what were then

Just the suburbs of Washington, DC,

I imagine the focus

Was on moving senators

And congressmen out to the airport

For all their fact finding trips,

Nothing about saving

Arlington from becoming a backwater.

It split us in half, but still, towers rose

On both sides of the highway

Until it became our main street,

Even more so than Arlington Boulevard,

Older thoroughfares became

Less thorough, and were ignored,

It was, I suppose the price

We had to pay for progress,

In the end, though, Arlington

Got a good deal for the construction,

We lost no core and received

No South Bronx, no Anacostia either.

The underground trains reach us,

But without the ribbon of concrete

That joined Arlington

To the rest of the country, would the drills

Have sliced up our bedrock for us?

Yes, the legacy of the highway

Has been a mixed one,

Because we ourselves are more mixed

From all of its connections,

High-rises and immigrant enclaves

Sprouting by the interstate

Where before were only dairy farms.

Ben writes poetry and many other things of interest on his two blogs, Lo Specchio e La Spugna and I Don’t Wanna Be a Manchild Please take a gander at his hand crafted poetry chapbook, Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained.