Nancy Mitchell: Ode to the Round About and Spire

Salisbury Poet Laureate Nancy Mitchell.

Salisbury Poet Laureate Nancy Mitchell wrote the following poem for Thursday’s dedication of the Riverside Drive Roundabout. — Editor.

Ode to the Round About and the Spire Within

Oh, dream come true, oh vision made

Manifest, conceived in the matrix

Of intelligence, imagination and grit

You now exist in plain evidence:

Asphalt, cement, mortar and brick.

From your conception to completion

You were met with criticism, derision

And doubt, yet our Mayor Day

And his tenacious team doggedly

Persisted, faithful to the vision

Until you were brought to fruition.

And in a stroke of nothing less than genius

In the Renaissance tradition to yoke

Beauty, utility and history

It was decided that you, bright Spire

Would be placed inside, to be the centerpiece.

Now, out here in the open air for all

Who pass to see, you Spire are more alive,

You breathe and symbolize the city’s creed

Of  “aspire, inspire others to believe.”

Faithful spire, the constant and fixed point

Around which the wheels of progress turn,  

Aluminum, luminous as the moon

At night, and so radiant in the day

That your shining makes the sky beyond

A deeper blue, or a lighter gray.

As we revolve around you Round About

Perhaps we will evolve from the lessons

We will learn from you: when we must slow

Down and when we must yield to others

And we must simply go with the flow.

As Fred Adkins—for whom you Spire were made—

Believed and often said in simple homespun

Eloquence “If we are careful, and want

To do the right thing, it usually works out.”

And here as proof of his wise words, behold

Our glorious, resplendent Round About.

Nancy Mitchell is the Poet Laureate of the city of Salisbury.

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