City Of Stone Poem by Ronald Shields

City Of Stone

This City is old,
wrapped in the skin of a
maiden whose time is past.
Abandoned by her ghosts
-fled to the countryside
where graves are tended
and people remember.
The buildings speak, no one
listens anymore. The mortar
has memory and stays true.
The stones have integrity and
stand up until young men come
to build new truths and grind the
stone to dust. They are young
men with purpose searching for
the promise of hope fulfilled and
the end of age.
The old men age with wine. No
longer hungry, they have learned
to be full on the only bread worth
eating. Work holds them firmly in
tow, at anchor in the harbor,
content to miss the Sea.
The women are full of grace
except the young and beautiful,
they are full of lust for the dance
and men to hold their hands,
hands that will cradle dreams
keeping them alive in times
of drought. The women of grace
stand in doorways, lean from windows,
hang washing, pasta and dreams.
The children are lost.
Lost to American dreams.
Lost to music, names and the
promise of hope fulfilled, the
end of age.
America where nothing is old, there is
no memory, everyone has purpose,
grace, bread, wine, and truth is green
water flowing from the rock of Moses.

Around the City water recedes
exposing barren mudflats
where even the clams refuse to dig.
And when the wind shifts
instead of salt air what it carries is sand.

The young men age while they sleep.
Women become keepers of dreams.
Old men disappear into the Sea.
Children fly west to purpose,
hope, truth, bearing the torch
they so eagerly lit.

The City will sleep.
Lie dormant with shallow breath
until Her ghosts return,
She sheds Her skin,
is once more the Maiden of old.

Ronald Shields

Ronald Shields

New York City
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