Few dare note, on our aging village maps,
The walkways paved primarily with gaps
As concrete once poured out to smooth foot travel
Is turned, by time, tree root and ice, to gravel
Upon which one who saunters, strolls or marches
Imperils ankles, knees, hips, shins and arches.
A town hall without pity will not pave
(And may yet send a runner to his grave)
While burghers charged by law with patching cracks
Instead would have us break our mothers’ backs.
Estranged from neighbor, property and State,
Look down—or take a header to your fate.
J.D. Smith’s third collection, Labor Day at Venice Beach, will be published later this year, as will his first humor collection, Notes of a Tourist on Planet Earth. His poems have appeared in journals and sites including 99 Poems for the 99 Percent, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry and Texas Review.