Want In Ignorance, #74

When they saw the mountains
shaping the horizon
ahead, one must assume
they thought another month
to get there, another
to cross over the range
and the city promised
to them in their visions
still further off. Their eyes
must have burned when the sun
rose on that day and wells
must have formed at their feet;
the great fib of promise
rising up through the clouds.
At its peak, the sadness
must have been palpable.
By the summit, one can
assume they looked inward
as night was descending
and thought for sure the view
before them was a lie
made up by the psyche,
frail, spent and tired,
created to extend
a lone sweet night’s dreaming.
That morning, when the light
quivered off the valley
confirming the mirage,
one must assume they cried
again, this time giving
to the great lake before
them. A rapid descent
down the sloped and greening
crags, down to a surface
where they could realize
their prophecy and build
a shimmering city.

And build they did, at first
on the good land around
the lake, on the biggest
and most stable islands,
using the waterways
as road and artery,
never once picturing
a valley pumped, drained,
shipped off to somewhere else.
Never once did they ask
why, traversing that crest,
they did not spot a great
civilization born
up centuries ago.
Here is my city, trapped
in the breadth of its own
breathing, on the soggy
remnants of its falling
tears, in the watershed
of its want in ignorance.
Each day, the sun rises
up over the mountains,
those distant volcanos
of madness threatening
enmity, but for now
cradling on all sides,
reaches down for the face
of its basin, the shoal
of its long kept secret
only to find itself
shut out; an architect
at the unveiling,
chaperone at the high
school dance, ex-fiance
in the chapel, prisoner
in prison. grandparent
twenty hours away.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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