Poem: Arriving Amidst the Ruins

Arriving Amidst the Ruins

Like so many places you frequent,
the small, out of the way nooks of life,
the coffeeshop in the nearby town has closed,
a victim of the pandemic,
no less than the three quarters of a million souls
now fled this earth after suffering, struggling
to merely breathe, places like this,
the South Side Cafe, are gone from this world,
another dream dead. How many others, you wonder?
How many others?

You have survived. A mild case perhaps,
early in the parade, two years past.
(how can it have been that long a forever ago?)
Shots and more shots. A stab at quaranteens
that fade in and out of the culture you live in.
You have survived, but changed,
and not yet certain, just how, or how deep,
or what will be left.

So you find a new place. You sip coffee while you may.
Listen to the piped in music of strange places,
pretending life is as life was, knowing the truth,
that it never will be, creating your new life
as you stumble through the ruins of the old,
like any artist, never quite sure how it will turn out,
simply applying the paint and waiting for the spirit
to tell you: “Stop, you are there.”

About this poem.

Most of us are asking the question, when will this end? I am asking myself, what will we create out of this? What will, not be left, but be built? And how will we know?

The picture is of the South Side Cafe in Bennington Vermont. It’s closed now.

Tom

One comment

  1. This piece definitely resonates. Our ongoing pandemic is a catalyst at work amongst us, changing us as we struggle to contain it. Indeed, I hope eventual reflections show positive change in humanity. We’re surely not there yet – we’re still resisting, resisting, resisting change …

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