When I see a brave building
straining high, and higher,
hard and bright and sassy in the seasons
I think of the hands that put that strength together.
The little soft hands. Hands coming away from cold to take a challenge and to mold this definition.
Amazingly, men and women
worked with design and judgement, steel and glass,
to enact this announcement.
Here it stands.
Who can construct such miracle can enact
any consolidation, any fusion.
All little people opening out of themselves,
forging the human spirit that can outwit
big Building boasting in the cityworld.
(Today I posted Gwendolyn Brooks’ words instead of my own, because my own were reserved for today’s essay in my newsletter. The photos are from a lay in at Fort Greene Park on Sunday. There was free coffee and food from Bittersweet, sage, and nearly nine minutes of silence.)
This is such a beautiful poem and so fitting for right now, as we city dwellers take our first excursions outside again. It’s a pleasure to pause and look up at a tall building and consider all the hands that made it.
Thank you for sharing this poem. I often feel like the buildings on my block and in my city are neighbors and I look forward to seeing my favorites when I am out on walks!
Your newsletter this week was incredibly poignant, thank you for sharing. “the knees of history” has really stuck with me.
Thank you so much for reading it Grace.
And yes to the city aspect! I also kept thinking of the little hands portion, and how metaphorically what we mean by build, can often be led by amazing little people who teach us so much about love, care and community.