Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Michael Ceraolo- A Poem

Shopping Center (2015)

Just north of the watershed boundary
sits a shopping center,
that has had a couple different names,
at its west end by a grocery store,
anchored at its east end by
the club run by the nation's richest scum
(said club closed six years ago,
the large building has been empty since;
the FOR LEASE sign on it
has had to be replaced a couple times
because of weathering;
                                  the last time
it was taken down there was a rumor
someone was moving in soon,
that was quickly disproved)

The driveways and parking lot
are in such shape as would have caused
a homeowner to be hauled into court
for not repairing them,
have been so for the twelve years
I've lived across the street

The office-supply store hangs on,
a couple of its nearby brethren
have closed recently

A beauty-supply store survives,
and seems to thrive,
of whether it has neighbors or not

One for-profit college
has been replaced by another one

The theater has been closed
for two-and-a-half years now,
at night the lights still come on
on the empty marquee

The furniture store next door to
the empty theater,
in 2006 because of flooding
and empty ever since except
for a few falls when it was
occupied by a Halloween store,
                                               last year
had about three-fourths of its space
taken up by a deep discount store
(unofficial motto:  we sell the crap
for far closer to what it's really worth,
we still make enough of a profit
to continuously open new stores

The deli left a few years ago,
its space vacant since

A clothing store closed four years ago
and still remains empty,
                                    though the space
has hosted a flea market occasionally
and once held a job fair
for a few weeks

A former fast-food restaurant
has sat empty for a few years,
weeds coming through the cracks
in its parking lot

An outbuilding that once held
a chain restaurant
has been empty since 2006,
for a few months when it was filled
by an internet gambling place,
a new state law outlawed such places

And yet
despite the situation here and elsewhere
there are those in the watershed and out
who can't wait to build more shopping centers

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