We the Brick

[audio link]

We come from clay
found around Lake Michigan’s cliffs,
converging rivers, tributaries.

We are light yellow hued
fire kilned to become dark red
cooled to porous cream.

Sturdy. Durable. Reliable.

Upon our brothers’ and sisters’
backs, shoulders, torsos
we are stacked, built toward skies,
built to house, built to work,
sometimes packed, sent
to Chi-town, NYC, Europe
but we have absorbed our home:
freshwater spray, farmland musk,
industrial burn, fresh flora green.

Bustling. Breathing. Alive.

—Peter Brooks, Milwaukee