I wonder what the carp felt,
swimming in their new crystal palace
of cullet from the glass furnaces
the melt gone cold, broken and
dumped in the brown river.
They finally got around to razing the last
Overland smokestack, alone in a barren
field of concrete and rusty rebar,
No Kaiser, no Willys, no Rambler American.
Not many people came to watch,
nobody remembers when the Jeep plant
was on a war footing and would hire anybody.
Anybody lived in the Old West End
on Collingwood, in a dilapidated old house with Tiffany
stained glass windows, from a long time ago
when the glass barons afforded Tiffany a big studio
and many apprentices; he would hire anyone.
Anyone could have told the city’s downfall;
too close to Detroit, too many cars, too many
immigrants from Poland and Czechoslovakia
who all wanted to work for Jeep or Libby
and lived in brown row houses that all looked alike.
Now the city coddles her start-ups and naïve youth
who brew beer in the old banana warehouse
and try to design loft apartments that might bring