Lawrence: Falling Heritage, Vanishing Future This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   The sun shines across the horizon,

from the bridge where I stand.

Once crossed by my ancestors,

who saw opportunity at six dollars a week.



Over 100 years ago the brick walls closed them into

a world

of turning wheels, machines.

Conditions unpleasant enough to see one to hisdeath.



The buzz of new-found industrialization.

Water in the canal running as quickly as the cotton through their looms.

Steam that crept out was the only tell-tale of the life inside.

Tiring labor, strict rules, long hours.

The hands of the clock tower turned with synchronicity to the workers.

Who relied on it to sing its song of freedom at nine o'clock each night.



1912 and industrial revolt took over.

Crying bread and roses out on the streets until the union came to be.

1950s slowly life there was forgotten,

as the clock failed to sing its song.



My nostalgic daydream has now been interrupted,

by the car that sped past.

Soft as the bridge did not even bother to hum.

Without knowing, those in the city today are still ruled by the past.



Complaining of their jobs being so hard and laborious.

Sitting at that computer punching in numbers,

with a fifteen minute break each hour.

They should all look across the bridge and be reminded of their past.

Not just look across it to see them to their next paycheck,

which brings them the comfortable life.



I travel the rest of my way through the city,

dreading to face the apathetic.

I see them spending their days in places where all pride has been lost.

Sitting on porches,

staring into neighborhoods of drugs, violence, and trash.

This is their children's playground.

The only thing they will ever know,

If they choose not to change it.



Returning home to the night,

I hear the sirens and wonder who was shot on that empty street.

Or what heritage is going up in flames as another fire rages through.

A little more is lost each day.

The beauty of the Ayer clock tower at six o'clock this morning,

is enough to give me a little hope.

If it can be restored,

then so can our city.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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