Not Quite Empty City

Once, the constant backing track
of traffic and city noise drummed
in an ever-present hum.
Streetlight haloes fixed glimpses
of homebound faces as they passed,
in shop windows and bus-stop glass.

Now, there is no more morning haul
or night-time crawl
of onomatopoeic pedestrians
and their quirky, jerky stop-and-go.

Below deserted bridges, the river laps
where the homeless nap, huddled in shadow,
yoked together in an unknown quantity,
a corona of forgotten zombies.

Kim M. Russell, 29th March 2020

Homeless Under Bridge Stock Photos - Download 149 Royalty Free Photos
Stock image from dreamstime.com

My poem for Earthweal Open Link #13

I looked back in my archives and found a poem from 27th March 2016 that kind of fits the mood but needed to be re-titled and re-written.

14 thoughts on “Not Quite Empty City

  1. It’s a potent view of what’s left, absent “onomatopoeic pedestrians / and their quirky, jerky stop-and-go” — a “corona” of absence still present. You hold it beautifully here, though it’s a sight that drills us to the moment. Well done, Kim, and thanks for bringing it to earthweal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The silent streets show how suddenly life changed. The homeless huddled under the bridge – so sad, so vulnerable, so unprotected a population. So well written. I am so sorry to hear you lost a friend recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The silent streets show how suddenly life changed. The homeless huddled under the bridge – so sad, so vulnerable, so unprotected a population. So well written. I am so sorry to hear you lost a friend recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great way to tie in the corona with that image and the lasting image you leave us with your words. “onomatopoeic pedestrians
    and their quirky, jerky stop-and-go”
    A grinding machine that was long overdue for some serious maintenance: out of order for an undetermined amount of time for deep introspection. Loved this, Kim. Be well💜

    Liked by 1 person

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