Poem: While All the Tourists Watch


While All the Tourist Watch

The repairs are underway.
The brick wall, once so perfect
and fashionable, has come undone.

It peels from the stonework that dates a hundred years earlier.
The original wall remains steadfast.

The mason has come.
He has propped up what is left of the brickwork.
but the stone truth stands, visible for all to see.

The work has ceased, as if
he is not certain whether to save the clay front
or let it fall to rubble,
it’s natural state
while all the tourists watch.

Yes, this is how it happens.
Give it time, and you will see.
the false front comes apart
and what lives beneath remains.

About this poem

The picture was taken at the Vanderbilt Estate in Hyde Park, NY.  The garden’s original walls were stone but somewhere along the line, the owners decided brick was more fashionable.  Fashionable perhaps, but not as lasting.

Just like life.


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