The Weight of the World
Poem | Post-Apocalyptic
What if the hero failed to save the day? What if that dramatic split-second decision preventing disaster never came to pass and the good side lost?
That was the inspiration for this nearly 2 years ago. With so much to unpack, I’d love to write a longer piece for this. Alas, it’s been relegated to the back of an ever-extending line of projects that I’ll get to “someday.”
Instead, I’ve distilled the heart of the story down into these 22 lines. I hope you find something meaningful within “The Weight of the World”. Let me know what you think in the comments.
I wander empty streets of a doomed era,
No escape from falling skies.
Scavengers of every variety,
Scamper away as I pass, seeing me for what I am.
Hollow vehicles form unending lines waiting to go nowhere,
Reflections barely perceivable within shattered storefront windows.
A woman cradles a noiseless bundle on a forsaken street corner,
Dry riverbeds scarring her cheeks.
Deeper in the city a building crumbles to join civilization.
The dead pan stare she gives me is like a spotlight,
I shudder at the oppressive force, freezing center stage.
I study a crack in the cement as if it’s a gorge separating us.
Her sweet voice is sandpaper to my soul as she asks,
“Who are you?”
Any name I tell her would be a lie;
I am not the man I thought I was.
“I am sorry,” I say.
Tiny flecks of ash tumble down upon my shoulders,
Their final resting place among all the others.
“Don’t be,” she says. “The world did this to us.”
I no longer have the strength to refute her claim.
Deep down I know that no excuse will ever be enough.