Time, here, who, mutation

We’re really in a very small place

             and those old enough to remember

know how hard it was

We’re glad it’s over
We don’t want returns to the past
Even what was taken from us

We express our thanks

just to see fields ripen
                          freshen the air
             exchange glances with deer in the shadow of
                          the implicated grove
             just to hear the lathes grind again in the workshops
                          to see flatbreads pile up in front windows
                          long-lost books back in the stalls
             instead of what piled up before

They all left long ago
Those responsible
                          or so the niches in the moldy walls whisper back to us
             sometimes

The quiet wind over the hillock
The fences whitewashed again

It’s not as if everything’s the same
There are roads you don’t travel down
Certain words dropped from the language
             perfectly good words before
             words for what they dragged away

Questions don’t have easy answers

                    you must understand

Traces may well be found
             but we won’t know

When they left
             they looted conviction

This poem will be published in an upcoming issue of J Journal.

Andy Oram
March 7, 2019