All That Was Desired

Among the shapes come down
From the modern medieval period
Is the stylized and elongated hypotenuse
Of the Roofline Corporation’s logo,
Its steady ascension near every Springfield exit.

Statistics is the description of abscissae:
Moms and Pops up and closed shop
Rather than confront the Roofline juggernaut,
Retired to air-con and powdered ice-tea,
While their basement kids began to climb Mt. Credit.

At first, a furious burgeoning. as trucks brought
All that was desired, pallet upon pallet;
Under the friendly Roofline lay Earth’s coded fungibles
From factories on jungle fringes, from docks blue
With the effusions of forklift motors:

Aisles of the riveted, the crimped and heat-sealed,
And Springfielders kachinged their barbecues
And fish-tank-sized TVs. Then the brief zenith
Dipped towards investor pessimism, layoffs,
Until there were only a few jobs left,

Poorly paid; others quit to mind the grandkids.
Remaining staff dealt with a narrower community,
Until glass smashed under the abscissa,
And We the People carted off the cases of KD,
The cappuccino-makers—a strong demand curve—

And Roofline came to echo in the rust-in-snow
Of swing-sets, handsaws and gazebos cluttering
Springfield’s garages and backyards,
In the apron with the boom and doom roofline,
Folded for years in a drawer, after the math

Moved on to newer markets, in the pioneering way.

This poem “All That Was Desired” originally appeared in Tracking CanLit. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 220 (Spring 2014): 92.

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