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The Great Sadness


Vol. XXVII, no. 1

Leslie Shipman

In the days of the great sadness,
even dust hesitated to linger.

Living rooms rejected
their furniture, and

station clocks no longer
clung to the wall.

The wind itself
was a whistling prosecutor,

taunting the last leaf
on the lone silver birch.

The great sadness had no enemies,
only surrendered employees

of our former humor, toiling away
in factories of goodwill.

Say what you will, but times
were good when we were together—

the great sadness was just
a prediction then,

like a medieval prophecy burning
through someone else's century,

leaving evertyhing shaken, but still
standing in its wake.