A work for modern times

Where shall I find the suffering—out open

in wails, demonstrative and shared?

Maybe—for that is the way of old,

where sorrow was given form, 

as performance, in the black 

cloaked spaces of grief’s time.


But now in the times beyond old,

there are only the tears that come 

incomplete and hidden in the crevices; 

and loss, the dark companion of suffering,

flows murky beneath the surface that

shines for all of us that choose its glare. 


I saw a woman burst into tears the other day, 

right in the street, in the middle,

for all the flowing people to see—

and I know not why. 


Well, I do know, but I will not share.


She stood—frozen—in the street,

a statue of a failed mad sculptor,

and everyone past her by. 


Not a glance. Eyes ahead. 

Corralled by the avenue.


And I stood a while watching her,

studying the form,

a work for modern times;

then left and went the other way,

not down the street—no, I could not,

for I was afraid.