The Wayward Orchard / Paul Sohar

About the Author

Sunfish Pond
• Requiem for a Refugee Camp 
Summer Past
The Geese Were Gone
The Wayward Orchard
Mount Katahdin
A Tour Without Virgil
The Ravished
My Dream House
The God of Spring
The (Last) Party
The Secret
The Other
This Wall
Little Night Music
Being and Its Skin
Grandma’s Silence
The Ruler of the Mirror
The Silent Dreamer
Keep It Simple
Canyon Dreams



Requiem for a Refugee Camp

On that day I’ll become as blind
    as a locked gate of a dead-end street
        leading to a refugee camp
           in a war-torn city
where people go to find long lost relatives —
    in a hushed tone they inquire
after knocking politely on the gate
    broken boards nailed together
       maybe with some prematurely rusting
          sheet metal mixed in
             beer signs most likely from the good old days
                when it was all right to laugh
                    and kick some teeth in
they knock and wait and knock and wait
muttering words of comfort to one another
   words they already know like an incantation
       and pretend to hear
           in spite of their disabilities they carry with them
such as plywood windows
    buses without wheels
       little signs that there may be something alive
          if nothing else a fraying memory
it’s a burden they must carry
   in addition to the search for the missing
       in that city where
I’ll be as blind
as a locked gate with only silence behind it.
      Only the blind will hope there is more
to the world than one huge refugee camp.

  © Paul Sohar, 2011


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