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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact poem-a-day@poets.org.

Abandoned Block Factory, Arkansas

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, March 29, 2017.
About this Poem 

“In 2016, when I first moved to Arkansas, I became fascinated with the abandoned concrete block factory in my neighborhood. I recently brought some of my students there, and we all wrote poems in response to the site. This poem is also an homage to Linda Gregg’s ‘Elegance,’ with my first few lines echoing hers.”
—Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers

Abandoned Block Factory, Arkansas

All that is left
unaccounted for:
elegance married
to rust. On the roof, rain
dwelling in the corrugations.
Some slats vanished
altogether, a blankness
giving way to sky. But the eaves
hold in perfect vertices,
refuse to abandon
their beauty, hard-earned.
High on the yellow silo,
the conveyor’s lattice
is as finely wrought
as a string instrument’s
struts and braces: precision
in every coordinate
and all across the godlike slant
from tower to the ground.
There would be no time at all
if not for moss swelling
in concrete cracks,
the guard rails papered
by lichen. If not for the rest
of the world, the silence
it attempts to punctuate:
crow caw. Engine roar.
Horns of every pitch
and color. The train’s
shuddering Doppler,
crossing us now—as always—
in near-perfect intervals. Even
though there is no tangible
good to stop for,
nothing whole to take away.

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 29, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 29, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

previous poems

datesort ascending title author
December 07, 2016 Irony Layli Long Soldier
December 06, 2016 Love Poem Susan Wheeler
December 05, 2016 New Jersey Craig Morgan Teicher
December 04, 2016 The Candle Indoors Gerard Manley Hopkins
December 03, 2016 The Idler Alice Dunbar-Nelson
December 02, 2016 The Sea David Baker
December 01, 2016 Plantation Charif Shanahan
November 30, 2016 Key to the Kingdom Ted Mathys
November 29, 2016 Notes on the Below Ada Limón
November 28, 2016 Historic Flaws Bianca Stone

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