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.