by Blair Hill
Everything about this city is angry:
the people are callous and rushed,
the once green grass cries tears of tar;
even the toll of the clock tower is a
more violent, persistent vibration.
The clock bleeds
seconds and minutes and hours
that were never really lived.
I wonder how the city came to be this way.
Was it not nurtured as a child?
Did it take one too many blows with a belt?
Did it spend too many nights
crying silent tears
until one day it violently screamed,
I must be heard.
For if I am not,
I shall surely suffer for
the rest of my days.
Or maybe the city longs to see the sky:
to see something unobstructed
by buildings, or light, or smoke.
Maybe the city has forgotten how to breathe.
Shall I teach her to breathe?
I know now that she is a woman:
a woman who has seen too much
sadness. Too much grief.
A woman who has lost too many
children, taken prematurely.
She is an inconsolable widow.
I wonder every day how she keeps going.
But she has a single grandchild:
the one being who keeps her heart beating.
A child that will show her the sky.
Her grandchild is a single glimmer of hope,
to be found within the hearts of those
who remember how to breathe:
those who view the soul of the city
as something other than infectious smog.
These hearts see in technicolor raindrops;
they remember a world in which the city
breathed life into its inhabitants.
Now they try to do the same for her.
Edited by Amy Owings