After reading this poem, I believe that the poem is a metaphorical story about death and the afterlife. The line, “There is a place where the sidewalk ends,” hints at the time of a person’s life where their journey ends in death. The next line, “before the street begins,” infers that after a person’s life ends, there is a new journey ahead of them where everything is much better. I say much better because the author uses colorful and beautiful words to describe the new street. In the second stanza, the author describes “this place”, which I interpret to be Earth, as dark, black, and slow. He uses words such as “asphalt” and “dark” to describe Earth as an evil and sad place to be. Also, he states that there are “chalk-white arrows” pointing towards the end of the sidewalk for people to follow as they go through life. After looking up Shel Silverstein on Google, I believe that where the “street begins” after the “sidewalk ends” is Heaven. Shel is from a Jewish background, meaning that he shares similar views to Christians, and as Christians we believe that after we die we go to Heaven, which is a much better place than Earth.
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins.
And there the grass grows soft and white.
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow.
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.