This Time

it’s been a long time coming

the divisive fracture held

much longer than expected

through the wind and the rain

ever widening, splintering

the creaks and moans

offered fair warning

of what was to come

bathed in a sense of security

false though ever-clinging

begging, the fall was sudden

in the early morning hours

a rippling effect

tearing through the few

with eyes still wide enough

tongues held but left twisted

mouths in gaping distraction

as the voices give reminder

to just breath and move along

it might have gone unnoticed

in the throes of entertainment

but for this time, the shrieking

and the cries could not be ignored

this time, something was different

this time, they turned their heads

in shame at the reckoning of

their absence through the years

and indifference to the failing

structure that hung merely inches

above their day to day

a death sentence strung to a clock

that skips every other second

waiting, for the inevitable downfall

that they/we struggled tirelessly

to maintain within a patchwork

of apathy mislabeled as empathy


  1. Utterly brilliant, River. You could apply this metaphor to so much, and to so many of us these days – my rickety and aged conservatory for one thing! Love it (the poem, not the conservatory that is…). 😀

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I always say it’s the mark of a great writer, if he or she can make their work apply to all kinds of people and scenarios. Kudos to River, indeed.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. I think virtue signaling is apathy disguised as empathy, except too many people never turn away in shame because they (we, he, she, us, me) never come to the realization that it is signaling and not chopping wood hauling water. Excellent poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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