History on Display

23 04 2012

This was one of my first poems developed by my college poetry class. It is suppose to capture a story of historical artifacts put on display in a museum. The exercise was fun. The poem got slashed to ribbons though. This is it’s first draft so naturally it’s raw but I still have particular affection for it anyway. Enjoy…

Behind two doors of double
Panes bullet proof glass
A hallway houses the relics of
Past minute hand movements
The slap of footsteps, once prevalent
No more reverberates off the walls,
Though the entrance turns it’s lock to none
Once diamond encrusted and gold gilded
Display cases, now raped of their jewelry,
Still hold their glass cased contents undisputed.
In one lays a circlet of blood stained thorns
Another holds the oxidized iron that held
The penmanship of Luther’s ninety-five.
“we the people” are the only words still
Legible on the document nearest to
The firearm of James Earl Ray and the
Cranial cloth of India’s Catholic matriarch
Such junkyard scrap litters the lines of
The hall. Stretching on, it ends abruptly
With a wall of dirty plastic, dusty caution tape
And the peeling letters of a construction sign.
Eyes no more view these rows of rubbage
But the brown eyed pair of the sweat shop boy
Who sweeps the floor on his day off.




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