Empty Plinths

Empty Plinths

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.

Image credit:Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

By | 2017-09-07T08:24:30+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Categories: Issue 38: 31 Aug 2017|Tags: , |0 Comments

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