The streets are not themselves today:
Silence leaves them cold
They long for the dance of leathered feet
And the gossip and chatter of old.
Where has the children’s screaming gone,
The skirmish the battle the play?
The schoolyards are aching for childhood sounds:
What broomstick has swept them away?
The sirens keep piercing the eardrums.
(The dead cannot scream for themselves.)
Fear turns into panic and hoarding:
You can’t find any food on the shelves.
In the evenings at seven a chorus is born
Of clapping and yelping and roar
Alleluias pour out of the opened windows
As praises for the brave rise and soar.
All flesh is as grass said a prophet of old
As the dead fall like rain in the fields.
Will it not ever end, never end asks the swallow:
Is there no hope that suffering yields?
The streets are not themselves at all:
They sense that something´s wrong;
The truth has hidden its face in shame
As hypocrisy sings its old song.
But the brave can never be silenced
No matter what power has to say.
The heart is a thoroughbred hunter,
And love’s only a heartbeat away.
Eugene Mahon, MD, is a training and supervising psychoanalyst at Columbia Psychoanalytic Center for Training and Research. He has published three books—A Psychoanalytic Odyssey, Rensal the Redbit, and Boneshop of the Heart—and numerous articles on psychoanalysis. He practices in New York City.
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