By Robbie Gamble
That history was cast, it had its time
to patina publically, those grandiose bits:
goatees, greatcoats and spurs all sober
and saddle-erect, hauled down amid
conflicted outcries of righteous mobs, or
unbolted and forklifted away into the night.
Let the sullen air settle. In municipal
plazas, the plinths remain stolid,
their bare cornices uplifting
nothing, explaining away nothing.
Let their marble shoulders relax.
Give some time for the charged space
above them to reassemble, and not
in the chaos of clubs and torches,
cars-as-projectiles. History is messy
enough. Meanwhile, catalogue
the bronze artifacts, arrange for them
a suitable warehouse. Honor instead
the stories of the statueless, the diasporaed,
the not-as-yet-emancipated. Let these
coalesce and flow into awareness beyond
plinths, beyond rancor, beyond dispute.
Robbie Gamble lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, and works as a nurse practitioner caring for homeless people in Boston. He recently completed an MFA in poetry at Lesley University.