I fear we are singing to ourselves, Chanting love songs Across a candle-lit and empty time Between the backs of our minds.
We found long ago that our parents Were as dead as their ancestors, That their minds barely fuzz Through the centuried routines Of their existence.
Quizzically, victoriously, We lost them. We lost half our families.
We found then That our friends grew up Into the yeses and the noes, The loves and the hates. And in the intensity we had to divide The us from the them.
Decidedly, though tearfully, We washed them away. We lost half our friends.
We found that the people On buses and radios, The little old people And the blank young men, Said terrible things about our heroes And terrible things about our hopes.
Positively, thoroughly, We cut them off. We lost half the country.
Look around then. See who reads your poems: Dead letter critics, Other hopeful poets.
And we come to see That the only hope is the one song that we can come together and sing in so loud a voice all together come together and sing it now, sing
And maybe the echoes Of the force Of all the joy We have ever felt In being close together In singing one song Will make the walls and the buildings and the illusions All Fall Down.
Otherwise, We will go on humming, Rocking, Cradled in our arms Until one day the song will freeze, Bright ribbon in the air, And crack Into a million sharp silences.
I am Milly Brown of Reno, Nevada. I studied under Josephine Miles at U. C. Berkeley. Many of my poems have been printed in various publications over the years, most notably - U-Rights Magazine (2020); Straylight Online (2020); Bangalore Review (2019); California Quarterly (2019); Desert Wood (UNR, 1991); Eclectic (1970); Hiram Poetry Review (1971); The Green Flag (City Lights Books, 1969). I took a long break from submitting, but I am revived.