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Untitled [“When have you ever heard a silent crowd?”]

When have you ever heard a silent crowd?
Without a word, they watched their schoolhouse burn
But one man must have turned his wide-brimmed hat
Over and over slowly in his hands.
They go home silent. I remember when
I wanted to be Amish, like in books,
Or Mennonite, like one I saw, my age,
Pushing a stroller, in a pioneer dress.
The future drove a car I didn’t trust.
I knew instinctively that it meant harm.

It meant me harm. With all the force of fear,
I fought to make time stop. But since I’ve learned
I can’t do that, I modify my prayer.

Time, not too fast. The pace of horse
And buggy was just right, the pace of feet.
When needed, flames, deliberate, complete.

 

by Monika Cooper

Original bio from the Fall 2008 edition:

Monika Cooper may or may not spend too much of her time discovering the visible connections of all public and private affairs.


This poem first ran in the Fall 2008 edition of Grub Street Grackle. It appears here online for the first time.