Best 1000 Words for the Image Contest: Wayne Russell: What Happened?

By: Wayne Russell

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What Happened?

 

Somewhere beyond the trees and shrubbery,
you will find what remains. Shattered windows,
reflections of your former grandeur.

Shards of wispy branches reaching through your
hollowed ceiling, vines cling and jostle for prime
locations on cracked painted walls.

Seven stories high, paint fading like a dream, the
sky hovers over you, ominous, like a sad oasis.
Your copious windows, most shattered into oblivion,
weep along with the willows that have outgrown you.

You told me in a dream, you wouldn’t recognize me if
you saw me, not in a million years, and now I tend to
agree with you.

You whispered into the cadence of time, marching forever
into days, months, and years sprawled out beneath the
phosphorus stars.

What happened to everyone?

I have fallen victim to the ravages of time, I used
to be a grand sight and now I’m merely an eyesore,
left abandon. People have departed and gone their
separate ways, some have passed from this mortal
coil, some have moved on with their life’s.

Whatever happened to the young woman that
tended the roses out in my front gardens? I heard
from the ravens that she won the lottery and skipped
town and bought a little villa on the beaches of Palma
Majorca, Spain.

Whatever happened to that frail old man that
would play Schubert on the lobbies grand piano?
I heard the red robin tell the monarch butterfly that
he met a tragic end three years ago.

The old man crossed the road and never even saw the
school bus coming, it hit him so hard the bus sent him
fifty yards into the grassy knoll inhabited by some
very terrified youngsters.

Whatever happened to all the children that would
play cops and robbers, kick the can, and jacks around
my parameter? I heard the crickets chirping away that
little Billy grew up to be a Wall Street type, very successful.

I also heard that little Walter went the opposite direction
completely! He was in and out of jail from the age of 18
and the prison! Finally, I listened to the crickets say that Walter
robbed five banks in the span of three weeks, so eventually, the
judge gave him a life sentence without any chance of parole.

I miss the days when my life had meaning and value.

I miss all the people that loved and valued me and took
care of me, those kids would give me such joy in their
innocent play times. There was Walter, Billy, Sally, Nathan,
so many of them, most whose names escape me now.

Could it be my age? Yes, it must be my age, I’m not getting
any younger, my shutters have all fallen off, my foundation
has so many cracks in it that it’s unreal!

Where have the years gone? Where has the time passed?
Do you think that any of the humans will ever return?

I wonder if I scream will anyone come running to help me
with this chronic case of loneliness?

Heeeelllllloooooo out there!!!!!!!!!!!!????

No, just as I suspected, nothing, just the echo of my own
pathetic lonely voice.

I mean there are the woodland creatures, and they have
certainly flourished since the humans have departed, but
they have their own lives and are not very concerned about
the upkeep and maintenance of the likes of me.

The woodland creatures have their own homes and probably
never even think twice about tending my very overgrown gardens
and waxing my very pathetically moldy floor tiles.

Yep, since the humans are gone, I have been left unto my own
devices, I have become a relic of the cruel passages of time,
and that my friend is no fun indeed.

I mean what’s so fun about being left on your own so long that
your paint peels cleanly off every wall of your being? And having
your floors be neglected so long that they collapse underneath
their own weight.

And while I’m at it! What’s so fun about not having your
rickety window shutters replaced or oiled or repainted!?
Neglected window shutters that sway in an unforgiving
breeze, with their screeching give me a mighty hideous
roof ache!

The sun rises, and the sun sets, vines ascend my dilapidated
walls and trees obscure my view of the world that I once felt
such a part of.

But no ones seems to care, not even the humans that constructed
me from the ground up. All the concrete that it took to lay my
foundation, all the planks of wood that it took to erect my walls,
and all the Sheetrock that it took to construct my rooms and bath
rooms.

And all those plumbers, electricians, roofers, and masons, they
really had a fine crew of artisans craft me! Yes, they certainly did!

I wonder what’s going on in the world around me now? I used to
keep up with the news on Mrs. Smiths radio, yep she was a card
that Mrs. Smith! Always yelling out her window at the noisy kids
that would congregate right outside her window on purpose, just
so they could get on her nerves.

I wonder what’s going on in the world around me now? The last I
heard on Mrs. Smiths’ radio everyone was in an uproar about the
Nixon resignation! That was so long ago, but it seems just like
yesterday!

I wonder what year it is now? I wonder how the world has changed
since I last had contact with all my old human friends? It sure is
lonesome, and I sure wish that they would come back.

Somewhere beyond the trees and shrubbery,
you will find what remains. Shattered windows,
reflections of your former grandeur.

Shards of wispy branches reaching through your
hollowed ceiling, vines cling and jostle for prime
locations on cracked painted walls.

Seven stories high, paint fading like a dream, the
sky hovers over you, ominous, like a sad oasis.
Your copious windows, most shattered into oblivion,
weep along with the willows that have outgrown you.

You told me in a dream, you wouldn’t recognize me if
you saw me, not in a million years, and now I tend to
agree with you.

You whispered into the cadence of time, marching forever
into days, months, and years sprawled out beneath the
phosphorus stars.

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Bio

Wayne Russell is or has been many things in his 48 years on this planet.
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He has been a creative writer, world traveler, graphic designer, former soldier, and former sailor. 
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Wayne has been widely published in both online and hard copy creative writing magazines. 
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Just recently, the editors at Ariel Chart nominated Wayne for his first Pushcart Prize for the poem Stranger in a Strange Town.

More Poems from Wayne Russell 

 

Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

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Poetry, prose, problem-solving for the writer and blogger are all welcome additions to Two Drops of Ink. Are you ready to submit? Here are the guidelines. 

3 comments

  1. Wonderful, Wayne! It immediately personified, for me, how many people view the aging process as they “fall victim to the ravages of time”. Our friends are dying, our children have grown and moved away, and we can feel as though we’ve lost our meaning and value. (Not me though – I think the best is yet to come!) I enjoyed this very much! Thank you.

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