It was a different world,
gilt and lit and everywhere your eye fell
there were more things to see
than you could absorb,
riches by volume and excess.
I would not have fit in well.
Less was not in vogue then.
Still, I love to visit the time.
My eyes linger on each vignette,
each one a lesson in perfection
set just so, waiting for the stray eye to fall
for their moment.
The details as important as the whole.
Just the right light. Just the right size.
A letter holder with just enough mail,
enough to let the visitor know
you were important, but with room
so you would be sure there was room too, for you.
So much thought.
So much attention
to what others thought,
or at least, the others you deemed worthy.
It is an art, the creation of vignettes like this,
still life in the midst of more than a man can absorb.
No, I would not fit in.
I am too simple, too unlikely to be impressed
for any of the right reasons.
I am glad such times existed.
What they left behind is breathtaking.
Excess as art.
I snap a photo. A remembrance. An opportunity
to remember just this one thing, without the noise.
A capturing of your own sense of simplicity
despite a world determined to overwhelm
and call it class, or commerce, or both.
About this poem
My life went a serious simplification fifteen years ago. But it is not a simple world. Frankly I don’t think it ever was. Still, I struggle to make it so, making me a bit of an anomaly.