Is it safe to go outside anymore?
Is it even safe to dream?
Is it safe to open your door wide,
and see the possibilities?
For at one time –
those opportunities were endless,
but now we hide
behind shuttered windows
and bolted gates
continuous loops of virtual reality
play out their scenes behind closed doors
and huge screens shout about
all the living we have done,
all the greatness we have become
but we are dying inside,
behind closed doors
and our wounds
lay festered and bleeding.
Reality is now interwoven
with any words
that booming voices speak
over incessant airwaves
and we blindly shout out –
Tell us what to dream!
Tell us what we should speak!
Tell us how we should live and die and feel
behind the lines drawn between us.
Our houses creak in their own longing
the stifled air begs escape
and our arthritic hands curve
around game controllers and keyboards
frantically poised for our next exchange,
while we barely move
in the stillness of our lives
and for all that we lack,
we fill with spaces of silence.
One child lived
in this absence of beautiful sound
the absence of true meaning,
but she refused to bow
beneath their futile attempts
to quiet the longing of her soul.
She sought hope between the lines
of well-meaning words,
the prose and poetry of long ago,
and she sought meaning
from the stories of distant lives
when air was still fresh to breathe.
She took apart the theories of their day
looked beneath the cracks
in their foundation
to find the truths that history refused to speak.
She sought solace in her dreams
spun at the hours of moonlight
as she lay beneath windows
covered in newspaper
yellowed at the edges and frayed.
There was barely enough light,
but there was hope
and she strove to find meaning
to absorb the reason behind
even the little things
that made her smile.
she grew the courage necessary
to unbolt the door
that had been long closed.
She stood there, in the doorway,
hovering between –
the sweet smell of hope and promise
and where her reality lay
a silent, living death in darkness.
She cautiously stepped forward
and her footsteps carried her
in the direction of her dreams
and one by one, the other doors opened.
© Sumyanna 2017