At the End of All Things

We take a step, here,
at the end of all things,
over the precipice of the past.
Brittle pebbles break from the
shattered foundations of
what came before.
Dust and grit cascade over the cliff’s edge;
the foot hovers,
aware of the void beneath.

The torrential breath of change
buffets from behind,
pushing to cast us
forward in a leap of faith,
and hope for the future;
though, we are tempered by trepidation
because what could occur
other than free-fall?
How could we take what has happened, and
believe anything could come next
when our eyes see only the
abyss of the unknown.

But we take a step, here,
at the end of all things,
onto the supporting hands of
those who came before.
Risen from the void, they carry us,
as we hold their legacy within.
We find solidity, and take another step
into the beginning of
what will be.

by Erik Shinker

Casualties

Bodies stacked to line the
inside of 18-wheeled caskets.
Dead seeds line the core of
America’s big Apple;
its bloody cider overflowing due to
a lack of preparation at the highest level.

Families separated, as
isolation takes its toll despite the
empty reassurance that we are
all in this
together.

The veiled lie of post-graduation certainty
has been ripped from the brows of
college seniors.
A job in their fields was
never guaranteed,
and they learned this in the most violent way.

The things we once took for granted are
now gone,
changed forever by
a virus and the incompetence of
our “leader”.

But is change such a bad thing?
We have convinced ourselves that
things are, and
always have been, and
always will be.

But that isn’t the truth.
Change, as the saying goes, is the
only constant;
lives lived in flux and
the unforeseeable are guaranteed.

The reality of
our existence
can no longer be ignored;
we adapt, or
perish
with the lies we once held to be
self-evident.

by Erik Shinker

Fear

A storm cloud lumbers over those
self-isolated.
Thunderheads gather in ominous clumps;
the lack of information, or
too much at once,
can cripple all the same.

Selfishness exacerbates;
hoarding in misled preservation,
shortages that people tried to avoid are
instead caused by their own actions.
Medical and health professionals, fighting on the front lines,
are left vulnerable by the very
patients they protect.

But one day this storm will break, and
we will reflect,
hoping we learned something to
improve our response when
this happens again.
If we don’t, that is something
far more worthy of fear
than any virus.

by Erik Shinker

 

For more information on how to help stop the spread, please visit the links below:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization