Ode to Concrete, by Joseph Brodsky
You’ll outlast me, good old concrete,
as I’ve outlasted, it seems, some men
who had taken me, too, for a kind of street,
citing color of eyes, or mien.
So I praise your inanimate, porous looks
not out of envy but as the next
of kin--less durable, plagued with loose
joints, though still grateful to the architects.
I applaud your humble--to be exact,
meaningless--origins, roar and screech,
fully matched, however, by the abstract
destination, beyond my reach.
It’s not that nothing begets its kind
but that the future prefers to court
a date that’s resolutely blind
and wrapped in a petrified long skirt
From “So Forth” by Joseph Brodsky. (Farrar Straus Giroux: $18, 87 pp.). Copyright 1996 Reprinted by permission.