On a hope-filled evening in early spring

we visit downtown construction,

check progress

of jackhammer, pipe layer,

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concrete pour, and scoop —

beginnings of what might be.

Tall trees have somehow grown

through perfect squares in new sidewalks

where we wander in chain-linked mazes

down aisles adorned with instructional signs

about decibel levels of various sounds,

or tell of marvels to come.

It’s a bit of an outdoor expo —

we learn as we go

where water installations will rise

along curbless streets with motor-free spaces

for people to gather


and as we drive home,

our minds clutch that last idea —

a need for spaces to gather.

Susan McMillan is a lifelong writer, founding member of Southeastern Minnesota Poets, and is currently Rochester’s poet laureate. The Post Bulletin publishes poetry by local and area writers every Monday. Send poems to Meredith Williams at life@postbulletin.com.