Joshua Sutherland Allen

Joshua Sutherland Allen

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Footsteps are echoing down deserted halls:
A school on Sunday – students and teachers
Away, at home, forgetting fears and bothers,
Preparing for the week to come.  The sounds
Of steps from solitary visitor
Resound down quiet corridor, and tell
Just how alone I am.  Each sound made stronger
And still more resonant by empty space
And empty tile.  It seems not right, and yet
It also seems not wrong, somehow, or rather
It feels somehow that this is where I’m meant
To be, in this abandoned, darkened place.
With no one here, I am alone, with just
Myself, my work, and God perhaps for dismal
Company.  I don’t fear the dark, the space,
Or even being alone, and yet the sound
Of my own steps clacking, shuffling down
The hollow halls does chill me in some way.

It is as being at home, when one
You love is not around, away
On some small errand, or on some
Extended journey out of town,
Or even gone for good.  The sounds
Of daily, domestic habits,
Opening, closing doors, taking
Weekly garbage bins to the curb,
Washing dishes, bathing, splashing
In water run from rusty pipes:
Each isolated sound resounds
Through empty rooms, and empty mind.

It is also,
The emptiness
Of brains and hearts
Defeated and
From their routines:
Minds that are tired –
Those that cannot
Process more work,
Problem solving,
Good hearts that break
From too much love,
That give themselves
To ones who don’t
Understand, and
Beating slowly
Fade as their blood
Cannot be pumped
Or carry its
Load – oxygen and love –
To its members.


1 comment:

  1. really dig this poem - gritty n'true -

    A fellow teacher.