Through the years
How is might have looked
Alfred Street Pictures and Maps
Henry T. Brush and Jeanie Flora Campbell
Structures of Henry T. Brush
Alanson J. Fox
Speaches of Alanson J. Fox
1943 Detroit Riot
Population Change in Detroit
Rise of Architecture in Detroit
le détroit (The Straits)
Tiger Stadium, 100 Years On
Who Makes It?
House Photos for Sale
More pics on
le détroit (The Straits)
By John Kossik
With apologies to Mr. Poe
Once I found myself residing, like a train upon a siding,
In a place I was assured I had been many times before ---
Sitting there did I ponder, yes my mind it did then wander,
What is this place for which I have a memory store?
What hold on me does this place have I do implore?
Tis a dream, nothing more.
Passing memories though they are fleeting, alas they bear a quick repeating,
So that the lessons learned before us do not fall like dust upon the floor ---
This place it has a storied past, perhaps it just grew too fast?
Creating problems from which the social fabric tore,
Till simply living became so much a chore.
But I am a guest here, nothing more.
In a land divided such, the close observer can learn much,
If one treats as equal the stories told by both King and whore ---
In a place where workers ruled, provided that their voice was pooled,
They came from the South and every distant shore,
With their lives upon their backs, into The Straits did they pour,
Perhaps this was the problem, nothing more.
Steel, rubber, gasoline, soon black soot was all that could be seen,
From the Gothic structures where the lumber barons once did roar ---
These Patriarchs were first to flee, to the suburbs which held the key,
To a way of life away from thee whom they deplore,
Though these workers their yoke they still did bore.
Small concern, nothing more.
Left behind the peasants fought, forgetting all their Good Book taught,
Battling with one another for that job upon the factory floor ---
To determine who worthy was, where they could live and what one does,
You simply looked upon the color which their skin bore,
Yes, just the pigment that they wore.
Fear and hatred, nothing more.
From the time of Eighteen Sixty Three, the amount of melanin inside thee,
Set the load and burden one must shore ---
Then came Nineteen fifty-six, the Highway Act entered the mix,
Providing Whites the escape they had not had before,
So into the suburbs they did pour.
I tell you facts, nothing more.
In a house divided thus, from the past to learn you must,
Solutions there are present if one cares but to explore ---
To the Heavens look some might, but History will give you clearer sight,
Look there for hope I do implore,
Look there for a way outside this door.
But these are mere words, nothing more.
Pain and suffering and Urban blight, I do wonder is there light?
Upon the place where Cadillac first came ashore ---
Being gone now decades three, though I am not one of thee,
Luck I wish you in your Herculean chore,
As it is yours to bear, it is yours to shore.
I return here, Nevermore.
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