“Vacant Land”

That is what the sign said.

I just stood there and I scratched my head.

I simply didn’t understand

Why they would call this vacant land.

The sign said that they needed to sell

(Even though they didn’t word it well).

I knew that they would clear the land

Pave it over to be used by man.

… Vacant Land …

I counted 10 species of butterflies,

One hundred species of wild birds,

A dozens different kinds of wildflowers,

Including one I haven’t seen in 20 years.

Some kind of raptor circled the sky,

Something in my heart understood his cry.

His home is full of fox and deer,

And hundreds of sounds that I love to hear.

“Vacant land”

That is what the sign said.

I just stood there and I shook my head.

I wished that they could understand

This is so much more than vacant land.

What I saw was a golden field

With a trickling stream, it all looked so real.

A quiet oasis, full of grace.

So much more than empty space.

… Vacant land …

I counted 10 heavy laden pick up trucks,

A dozen men in business suits,

A builder, surveyor, and contractor,

And one horrifying bulldozer.

In the end there were 50 stores,

With enough parking for 200 cars.

They make their profit without recompense.

But at least now the sign makes sense.

I thought they meant how things used to be

But, no, it was just a prophesy,

Self-fulfilling and on-demand.

Now it really is vacant land.

“Vacant land”

That is what the sign said.

Now I stand here and I hang my head.

I couldn’t make them understand.

Forever more it will be vacant land.

“Vacant Land”

That is what the sign says.

DeLia has been writing for most of her life. In 2007 she founded the Homeschool Music and Art Connection of NJ and currently has close to 150 members.Her poem was inspired by a sign posted by a roadside field and by the impending development of a field and woods near her home in East Windsor. “This is just my own artistic expression of what I see as a profound misunderstanding, and the ironic (mis)use of the word ‘vacant’,” she says.

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