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Matsuri, February 2007
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Crash, by John Hansen

A timely, poem by a new contributor, with a realistic, yet optimistic, take on the way of things. Poetry Editor (We suggest you take a look at our editorial comments at the end for a little surprise. Editors)

Crash, by John Hansen

Though so distant,
I remember their faces,
Recall their sorrow,
Commiserate with their woes.
It has long past me
But I still remember,
I still feel the danger,
I still feel the sorrow.

They huddle around me,
Not a thing in their pockets,
Their "Hoover flags" waving,
Their faces are grim,
Colorless and bleak;
Deprived of all hopes
And dreams of success,
For in this dismal world
Only misfortune lies.

We joined their ranks,
When dad lost his job,
Me, my brothers, my sisters, my mom in calamity.
Our home, lost,
We become acquainted with this grim life.
Our school is the street,
Learning to steal food for survival,
As we sleep beside each other
In our “Hoover blankets”.

I stand in line,
For hours on end,
For that crumb of bread
That will not even ease my hunger.

I am like a stray dog,
Scavenging for food,
Grimy and unkempt,
The dregs of society.
I wear ragged clothing,
And other scraps of street material,
Anchored by my favorite cap,
Though tattered and gray.
Yet without a coat or shoes
I am a victim of the cold.

But life was not always as it is now.
We used to have it all -
Money, fortune, affluence;
We lived in splendor, lavishly,
Yet in an instant -

I had regarded myself as shielded;
As if I was insulated
From the unemployment epidemic;
Sheltered from the despair it would likely ensue.
But no.
The Great Depression poisons all.

It’s the present now.
The stock market has healed, thrived even
For seventy long years.
And for that time, it enjoyed the peace,
The stability and growth,
Of a functioning society.
I would look back on those years,
As a simple boy,
When unemployment was prevalent,
And hardship even greater.
And I would feel proud to have overcome the adversity,
Knowing such a crash would never happen again.

And yet, I was wrong.

Once again, the world darkens;
Chaos ensues and the epidemic returns.
But I am not worried,
Nor am I frightened
Or nervous,
Or disappointed even;
I am calm, tranquil,
Taking it in stride.
For I am prepared.
Looking out the window at the forlorn world outside,
I feel this inkling of remembrance,
As if,
I have seen this all before.

Raphael's Village is pleased to share that John Hansen is a teenaged author -- with a voice like this, we expect to see great things from him as he reaches legal age and beyond. Editors


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