Taking it down


 "The intact facade's now almost black
in the rain; all day they've torn at the back
of the building, 'the oldest concrete structure
in New England,' the newspaper said.
By afternoon,
when the backhoe claw appears above
three stories of columns and cornices, 

the crowd beneath their massed umbrellas cheer.

Suddenly the stairs seem to climb down themselves,
atomized plaster billowing: dust of 1907's
rooming house, this year's bake shop and florist's,
the ghosts of their signs faint above the windows
lined, last week, with loaves and blooms.''

-- From "Demolition,'' by Mark Coty.