Whitman in the Suburbs

But there are some that hear him, and they know…
Edwin Arlington Robinson

I hear you
Because you are everywhere
Even in the subdivided silence.

The autumn leaves are fallen of gold
Marred with green seasons turned
Overripe with the sun’s golden tarnishings.
The sunlight on this
November day is golden too, gilding the air
With displaced richness.

I could almost believe you, here
Walking in the shadow of my inescapable age;
I can almost believe you
Are this very light, the leaves
Piled in front yards, overrunning the driveways,
Heaped in slushy puddles,
Your soul here in the Modesto traffic, the standardized streets,
The supermarkets, Thrift shops, canneries and factories,
Car washes, mini malls,
Assembly lines of tract houses;

I could almost believe this is all you
My unease, also yours.