Bringing Beauty to the Long-Forgotten: “I Need A Bulldozer”

A little more than a week ago members of the Clark community had the opportunity to hear Ava Molnar read her poem I Need A Bulldozer out loud. Seamlessly weaving together a poetic narrative, Molnar, a recent Clark graduate, brings beauty to something that has long been forgotten. The poem, which personifies something as intangible as the passage of time, is just as riveting in print as it was in person. Read more below.

I Need a Bulldozer

Ava Molnar

You can’t park here.
No parking in this lot.
It’s fenced in, you see,
and covered in creeping leaves
that just won’t leave
so it seems that they’ve
sewn themselves into the seams
of the concrete
can’t take out one without the other now,
No there is no parking in this lot.
We were keeping it vacant, you see,
waiting (still) on a guest
who promised they’d show up
who promised
so I took two pieces of wood
leftover from some project
I started a long while ago,
I think in June maybe,
but see I took these two pieces
and carved
“No Parking”
into them and hung them on the fence
so passing drivers could see
could read, could realize;
“My car and I, we don’t belong here,
we gotta find some other place to park”
But this isn’t even a parking lot no more.
It’s not a garden either.
Not a concrete jungle
or urban wood,
it’s a lot gone to shit because I kept it as a lot.
I could have used it to grow something but no,
I thought someday
promised they’d show up I thought
they promised
so I kept this lot fenced in, fenced off.
In some moments I peek my head out to
stare at the tall grass
and I think that maybe they saw the signs
the “No Parking”signs
and just drove on by
not realizing this lot was a lot, a lot saved for
them. A lot of things this lot could but just let
them be so then I picked up my gloves and
my weed-be-gone and went to town,
tearing and cleaning and cleansing
ripping roots from seams
rearing back and forth on my knees;
knocked back by the amount of fight these
things give
and bearing forward into the dirt to remove
every little piece it grew down there.
To tear out everything it had used to attach
itself to this dear earth
I pull it out!
My gloves ripped sometime last week
and some tangle of bittersweet pulled back
and ripped some skin off my hand
so I sought vengeance with some gardening
Cut that place till live green confetti sprinkled
my hair.
Broken pavement, broken plants, break the
I’ll just take the signs down, no one wants to
park here anyway.
No parking here.
This place isn’t even a lot no more,
this place is broken.
You can’t park here.

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