Graffiti Slouches Toward Salem
Commuter Rail rattles toward Chelsea, Lynn,
Swampscott. It was in Ipswitch, north of Salem,
Lionel Chute and son James switched nations,
emigrating from Dedham, County Essex, in 1634.
Along the tracks houses turn their backs. We
pass junk-packed yards and storage sheds. On
the right, in a ragged marsh, beds of cat-tails
stand stiff in their washed-out winter shades.
The train ducks beneath an overpass, rises,
passing boarded second story glass windows.
Taggers with their spray cans, like busy dogs,
have had their say on blank walls with cryptic
abstract designs — on walls above shore wrack
left by social tides for art abhors a vacuum.
(Lionel's great grandson, Thomas moved to Maine in 1735.)