The Hannaford’s Bench
It might tell you that these people could be in an ant farm,
if the ants were slower, and smoked,
and looked as if they forgot where they were going.
Carts rumble past, children scream.
Bodies carry produce back to the mountains,
the cars follow telephone poles like a river.
When there are no bodies to hold,
the bench imagines better colors for the stretched-out grey.
It knows what smoke coils through its slats.
Once, before it was touched, cut and bolted down,
before the warehouses, and the metal teeth before that,
and the forests before that,
it didn’t sit through highway whispers, pale skies.
It was a whole body, trunk and limb and leaf,
and still able to hear the birds.