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The Death of Poetry

Back when poetry
slammed across the shores
like a hurricane
sending words spinning
in wind and waves;

back before
the waves wreaked havoc
on land,
when rain was a roof
to hide beneath;

when temperatures climbed,
but didn’t soar
and sizzle;

back when
talk
was food
to be shared
among countries,
and only birds tweeted;

the time
before his tornado
ripped homes away
in Houston
Miami
Puerto Rico,

you know
that time
people listened-
a rapt audience-
to poetry,

and language mattered
even “but”
because there are no buts
about health
home
safety;

watch—
empty verse
limp across the stage
before
it collapses.

  Pam Laskin