Whitewashed concrete blocks lurch
three stories into watery blue.
A rusty metal silo spilling
an entire dune’s worth of sand
braces itself on flimsy legs
that look ready to walk off the job.
I’ve bicycled from somewhere else
to catch autumn colors expressed
in long-outdated industry.
Not sure if this is Watertown
or Cambridge, the town line
familiar to the tax assessor,
but hardly a whisper on the map.
On a neighboring building, also
assembled from concrete blocks,
a sign reads “Current Solutions
Electric Inc.” I’ll laugh as soon
as I catch my breath. Chain-link
fencing, a couple of parked pickups,
and a skein of overhead wires
complete the sort of picture
that I like to think enhances
my grasp of the material world.
I thrust a hand into the sandpile
and feel it both warm and cool,
the fine grit a friendly ripple.
This facility manufactures
the same kind of concrete blocks
of which Current Solutions is made,
not the more old-fashioned species
constituting the whitewashed tower.
Half the whitewash has washed off,
but the plain sense of purpose
lingers, slightly rebuking me
for fondling that useful sand
as casually as a seascape.