People Bedded Down in a Gymnasium

– John Grey

Now the rain is endless
and the shooting outside won’t stop.
Or is that the thunder?
Was there an assassination involved?
Did an anarchist blow away an arch-duke?
Or is it nothing more than a river overflowing
and the lowlanders leaving their homes
and possessions behind
to huddle here with the rest of the unfortunate? 

I often dream of people in a gym,
row after row of beds on the parquet floor,
the stands pushed back to allow for more,
some sleepless ones looking directly up
at the baskets,
a few small kids blanketed,
laid out on rows of seats. 

Maybe the army will come for them here anyhow.
Or the floodwaters will creep up so high
that no place is safe.
Or lightning will strike,
raze building and inmates.
Or they’ll all go mad,
turn on themselves. 

Whatever it is,
they’re bedded down together
like I’m bedded down
with my inoperable imagination.
We’re all refugees,
they from what threatens.
I, from a world making sense.
We’re all waiting
to go back where we belong,
or some place new that will have us.
Any minute now,
someone in charge will give us the word.
Or, if there’s no one in charge,
then someone will wake me.

Leave a Reply