Sifting by Greg Nicholl

After the last house is lifted onto the truck, dust swirls,
chokes workers as they lash the final frame in place,
the building left wobbling in the middle of the street
uncertain of its new foundation. The front door unlocked
as if anyone could just climb up and walk inside.
Tire tracks left behind soon fill with sand, property
occupied only by gusts of wind and the occasional wild horse
sifting for scraps, its snorts separating hardpan from topsoil
like miners of mountain towns now also abandoned
where creeks run nothing more than silt and gravel.
The promise of gold as empty as the fields here are dry,
the oil wells capped, long since clogged with dust.

Greg Nicholl
NichollGreg Nicholl lives in Baltimore and works in publishing. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Boulevard, Crab Orchard Review, Ecotone, Mid-American Review, Natural Bridge, Post Road, Prairie Schooner, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere.