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Chicago Skyscrapers

December 20, 2006

Frank Marshall Davis

Here in this fat city
Men seventy two inches short
Have frozen their dreams
Into steel and concrete
600 feet tall

Thin fingers
On the hard hand
Of Chicago’s loop
Are these skyscrapers
Rubber bright sides
Of rainbow stars
Tearing the gray gauze
Of low clouds
Dipping in the sizzling pot
Of a summer sun
Passing the jeweled moon
From tower to tower
Like a sapphire ring.

While below

The masters move
Dreaming greater dreams
Of taller buildings
Turning today’s longest fingers
Into dwarf-like thumbs
Constantly pushing
Evolution in stone
Until some day
Heaven will be
Merely another high floor
Barked by a uniformed boy
On an express elevator.
Then a cranky God
Jealous of his privacy
May bend his fingers downward
Toppling tall dreams frozen
In steel and concrete
Upon the puny dreamers
Grinding all into
A chaos of blood and stone.

But
Remembering the tower of Babel
Even that would not
Discourage other builders–
The tireless breed who dream
In iron and granite.

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