The City That Lit The World

The City that Lit the World

It began with us:
a need, an idea, a plan.
The choicest of oils
for the finest of lamps
allowed us to grow, flourish;
abundance overflowing, spilling
to fill the gaps between cobblestones
and lighting
even the darkest of our corners.

And years later, when our rowdy flame was extinguished,
we were no less a beacon.
With our streets at last unbloodied,
unblubbered, the last of our whales
carelessly sacrificed for the greater good, we,
as one united, relit our coffers
with spindles, looms,
and a return to smaller nets.

In our quest for the perfect light,
we gained more than riches.
We, as one united, gained color, melodious accents,
brilliant fabrics, generous gardens,
an incomparable sense of fairness
and a bounty
of brilliant,
open minds.

And today, to reclaim our light,
our illumination, our luminosity,
we battle.  We protest
with voices as loud
as the roar of the Atlantic. We, as one united.
Some of our corners are still dark, some gaps
between our historic cobblestones
remain wanting, but

for reclamation, we need look no further
than into the bright eyes of our youth,
for they are the new lighthouse,
guiding us with their strength, support,
and unwavering buoyancy through storm-tossed seas.

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Patricia Gomes   June 2020

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