The poem I chose for today is one I wrote for my role as Poet Laureate. I wanted to write something that captured the essence of the “downtown” area of my community. When I was a child it was vibrant. There were department stores, a Five and Ten, mom and pop stores, restaurants. In my parents’ day, even more so. I remember, as a kid, getting excited just to go uptown with my mom on a Saturday morning to shop. That isn’t the case anymore. Like in so many communities, big boxes have taken over and the downtown has been left to decay. Our local organizations do their best to maintain and clean the downtown. There are Christmas decorations in the winter and flowers in the summer, but the vibrancy, the lifeblood is gone. I wrote this poem about the changing times. Our iconic horse and rider statue has survived, although people and places have come and gone—-a reflection of life.
The Statue on the Square
Sitting alone on the bench with her head in her hands she waits
The cold winter air blows through her graying hair making her shiver–
He is there.
Walking down Frederick St., she catches a glimpse of herself in the old theater window
The memories of first dates and happy times full of laughs and family fill her with sadness–
He is still there.
Taking a long draw on her cigarette, she thinks of all the people who have come and gone over the years
The smoke encircles her head and then evaporates along with the frayed pictures in her mind—
He continues to be there.
Settling back on the bench she wonders how she ended up here again
The loneliness creeps in and consumes her, yet somehow she is at peace—
He will always be there.