Ferguson Riots: To Build Or To Destroy? (Poem)

I was going through photo albums tonight and found this anonymous poem tucked away on a piece of yellowed paper:

I saw them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in my home town.

With a heave and a ho and a “Yes! Yes!” yell
They swung a beam and a side wall fell.

I said to the foreman, “Are these men skilled
As the ones you’d use if you had to build?”

He laughed and said, “Oh no! Indeed!
The most common labor is all I need,
Because I can destroy in a day or two
What it takes a builder ten years to do.”

I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles am I willing to play?

Am I one who is tearing down,
As I carelessly make my way around?

Or am I one who builds with care
So that my craft, my community,
Is just a little better, because I was there?

NBC News: A man watches a burning building after a grand jury returned no indictment in Ferguson, MO

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