Cap in hand, the beggar stands, politely, outside Aldi’s doors.
He knows the hour is late, but it has not passed.
All it takes is one to stop,
one to see.
Just one, to break the silence.
The land recalls, and we, if we dared, might,
in the gathering silence, turn back and see.
But we spend time wantonly, never considering we might reach the end.
Seasons, come and go easily.
Once we marked them with standing stones
and gathered, knowing, for a moment
our station. Now a calendar date will do,
the moment, one among a crowded lot.
The days we mark slip away like shadows in the light
while days we should remember are jumbled on the shelf.
Too busy piling, too intent on counting,
ever higher, always more.
Now, an age, an era passes,
and all that could be falls away, without a sound.
Words once held power. They bound us, we held our sacred oaths.
We vowed and held fast.
But, repeated, words fade, their power sapped.
Until at last, they let go,
one small sigh amongst a greater turbulence.
Where once a glory, this garden, now a landscape of grief and loss
Like the stunted aftermath of shelling
where trenches like serpents curl
and barbed wire like harsh and unforgiving brambles
is all the land will yield.
Grieve for what might have been.
Know, that if we would but stand and speak, it might yet be.