Imagine a hilly village, a few huts scattered here and there. There is a highway passing by this village. It is a road that links two cities, far away from this village. Among the huts, there is one that looks different from the others – it has an extented room in the front, an open shop, projecting to the road, very close to it. Here, the man who lives here has no better work other than selling wild berries and some other fruits that his children have collected and displayed for sale.
The little old house was out with a little new shed
In front at the edge of the road where the traffic sped,
A roadside stand that too pathetically pled…
It would not be fair to say for a dole of bread
But for some of the city money, the cash, whose flow supports
The flower of cities from sinking and withering faint…
The city men – rich enough to be insensitive to the sufferers – pass by, in their cars. While passing by the raodside stand, they grow angry and speed away, cursing the poor lot.
The polished traffic passed with a mind ahead
Or, if ever aside a moment, then out of sorts
At having the landscape marred with the artless paint
Of signs with S turned wrong and N turned wrong…
Offered for sale are wild berries in wooden quarts
Or crook necked golden squash with silver warts,
Or beauty rest in a mountain scene…
You have the money, but if you want to be mean
Why, keep your money (this angrily) and go along.
The hurt to the scenery wouldn’t be my complaint
So much as the trusting sorrow of what is unsaid:
Here, far from the city we make our roadside stand
And ask for some city money to feel in hand
To try it will (not) make our being expand…
And give us the life of the moving pictures’ promise
That the party in power is said to be keeping from us.
It is in the news that all these pitiful kin
Are to be bought out and mercifully gathered in
To live in villages, next to the theater and the store,
Where they won’t have to think for themselves anymore…
While greedy good doers, beneficent beasts of prey,
Swarm over their lives, enforcing benefits
That are calculated to soothe them out of their wits…
And (by) teaching them how to sleep, they sleep all day,
Destroy their sleeping at night the ancient way…
Sometimes I feel myself I can hardly bear
The thought of so much childish longing in vain,
The sadness that lurks near the open window there,
That waits all day in almost open prayer…
For the squeal of brakes, the sound of a stopping car
Of all the thousand selfish cars that pass
Just one to inquire what a farmer’s prices are…
And one did stop, but only to plow up grass
In using the yard to back and turn around;
And another to ask the way to where it was bound;
And another to ask, “could you sell a gallon of gas?”
They couldn’t (this crossly), they had none, didn’t it see?
No in country, money, the country scale of gain,
The requisite lift of sprint, has never been found..
Or, so, the voice of the country seems to complain.
I can’t help owning the great relief it would be
To put these people at one stroke out of their pain…
And then next day as I come back into the sane,
I wonder how I should like you to come to me
And offer to put me out of my pain.