Laying waste a certain neighbourhood.
It feels like mine, though it’s quite clear
That I am connected through
Only the most tenuous of ties.
Only because I happen to know you,
Whose faraway life now lies
Ruined over there. And no connection otherwise.
Nothing at all familiar.
Regardless of the personal damages
Into the year that’s coming next.
And there are many neighbourhoods
That became flotsam on the tide
And losses of great magnitudes
Taken calmly into stride
By distant lives on different sides
Of the world. Not mine, nor even yours, derelict.
By the clenched fist of conviction
And joyfully dragged
Alongside me, its motifs blurred.
And tattered, but still brave
Enough to confidently stir
Hope, like a slogan-scribbled banner waves
High above the crushed debris, the edges, the graves.
The year’s going to be better, though it has lagged.