• Big Dig: Pure poetry
    November 28,2012

    Big Dig: Pure poetry

    The Luck Brothers have just signed off.

    Barre’s Big Dig is only a memory.

    Main Street is reopened, restored,

    returned to pedestrians and traffic,

    and Youth Triumphant smiles again.

    July of 2012: Main Street a war zone,

    muddy ditch, forbidding trench,

    deserted storefronts on either side,

    sidewalks fenced for safety,

    stumps instead of trees. A scene

    to stir up long-forgotten memories

    of childhood sandbox play.

    Could I play in that sandbox with the Luck Brothers

    to build a better Barre?

    In the shadow of Youth Triumphant,

    I heard the monument speak to me.

    “What are you doing here

    with that shovel in your hand?

    You think you’re going to play sandbox

    with hard hats and Yellow Cats?”

    “No sir,” I said. “I just hoped

    with any Luck, to play a part

    in Barre’s long-awaited renaissance.”

    Friend, I’ve been kneeling here for years,

    praying for this day.

    Of trenches I have seen enough,

    of peace and progress, far too little.

    Go, sit in the granite easy chair

    in Studio Place Arts’ sculpture park.

    Show the Luck Brothers you can

    supervise the burial of water mains,

    restore sidewalks, reconfigure

    crosswalks and repave intersections.

    See that Vermont maples get planted

    to beautify the longitudinal dimension.

    Once again let Barre be a place

    where neighbors greet each other

    on business downtown,

    others sit in the shade in City Park

    and say, “Hi, so happy to see you here.”

    I thanked the “naked guy”

    for his encouragement

    and resolved to finish the job

    he started so many years ago.

    Alban Richey


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