Arlington-based writer John Blair chronicles a former meadow's transition from prairie to a parking lot. Courtesy of Storyblocks.

April 24, 2024

Here slept a streamside glade

Spring-lush with daisies, grasses;

Deer drifted down to drink

And doves sang in the sun.

Then in rolled Texians

With herds of red-faced cattle, 

Horses, sheep, whose

Meat and hides and wool

Fed and shod and dressed

Stouthearted farmers

And their bashful broods

Who walked to school 

Beneath the post oak grove

That grew along the brook,

Climbed, played, courted

On rusty slides and swing sets.

The trail close by

Became a track, a road,

A crowned street,


Year followed year.

The school gone,

Shops popped up,

A bank, boutiques.

The creek cemented,

Deer a distant memory,

Marooned in asphalt

One by one the oaks decayed,

And all the rest grew old, musty.

Then came wrecking balls, 

Backhoes, bulldozers,

Dump truck convoys;

And now it’s empty once again,

Emptier than when it started:

Bare, torn, trampled soil

Waiting for a doubtful future, 

Dreaming just a bit of doves 

And meadowsweet.

 ©2009 John I. Blair


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