A rust-dusted, gray-brown slab of metal,
10 inches square, at Church and Third,
engraved: Monument. Do Not Remove.
I wonder: Is the slab a monument itself,
or is some type of monument beneath?
“Survey markers commonly are cast metal disks with stamped legends on their face set in rock ledges, embedded in the tops of concrete pillars, or fixed to the tops of pipes sunk in the ground. They are meant to be permanent, and disturbing them is prohibited by Federal and state law. Survey markers are often placed as part of triangulation surveys—measurement efforts that crawled systematically across states or regions, establishing the angles and distances between various points. Such surveys laid the basis for map-making in the United States and across the world.
                                                                                                       In triangulation surveys, a primary point identified, called the main station. It is marked by a brass disk with a triangle inscribed on its surface and an impressed mark to indicate the precise point over which a surveyor’s plumb-bob should be dropped to assure a precise location. The main station is surrounded by three reference markers, each bearing an arrow that points back toward it. These reference marks make it easier for later visitors to “recover” or re-find the main station, making it possible to reset a station mark that has been disturbed or destroyed.”
I’m sorry. But must we look any further?
Isn’t this confirmation enough that Earth
is being allotted as homestead sections
for a new race of Outer Space yeomen?
Monument. Do Not Remove. Be Afraid.
Tom Riordan lives in New Jersey. He’s a retired restaurant worker and teacher, and dreams about becoming pope for his next career.

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