new era

When the new millennium came
The population quivered
In cold-gel anticipation

And I slept under the
solid winter sky
with nothing but wind and groaning
trees and ice and yesterday’s travel
to remind me where and when I was.

Until morning, when
I woke
in all-forgiving sharpness,
how would I have known?
Civilization doesn’t talk to you
when roads and phones and television
aren’t at hand.
It would not be able to say that
everything fell
to the ground,
and all the computers too,
and the only thing left is family.
Which is the best thing after all.

I tuned my ears and imagination
to that line
and was lost for a minute.
Then, overhead, a roar
like the sound of a hole
cut into the sky up to the vacuum of space.
A jet on its way
at 8:00 AM
on this new day.
That solved it.

But today there are no planes.
Everything is at hand,
but not in it,
and most of us are OK,
There is still family.
Yet, I find myself trying
to tune in
and am only getting
an emptiness too big
for anyone to be found in.

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