The Park

Eleanor RobertsOctober 21, 2016Human DignityPoetry

Bright sunlight filters through darkening clouds
The light is now silver below.
Warm wind grows frigid against rustling leaves
Of trees that just cannot grow.
The Earth is a sphere of silence, and yet
Their voices are swamped, never loud
Enough for the humans, deaf ears in the dark,
If you look, they emerge from the crowd;

At the bus stop, a boy, in a coat, on his phone,
He stands back, lets the elderly by.
They smile in response, and he gently blinks back
But he's voiceless, and empty inside.
That night he sees a new lock on the door
He knew they'd find out before long.
All for the love of a boy in his class
His devotion has branded him . . . wrong.
Nearby, a girl cuts fine shapes through the dark
With wide eyes, from a bench, all alone.
She can't find her friends, it's her they will blame
Filled with fear, no charge on her phone.
She was one minute late; “Unsatisfactory work!”
Lost a job to that ruthless glass floor.
In a car to the side, a man travels home,
But it's not the first place with that name.
He brought his family here seven years ago,
When their country was lost to white flame.
On the passenger seat, The Great Gatsby, in print
He's fluent in English, but can tell
That because of his accent, there's men filled with hate
They forget he reads placards as well.
The skyscrapers blot into checkerboard towers,
They can leave, the reports have been done
But they sit at their desk, eyes fixed on the clock
The hour hand hasn't reached one.
The meeting room chairs were too plastic, too cruel
And his voice was too loud for their brain.
Their anxiety denied them promotion, because
They'd stay silent to not be in pain.

The platinum coins of the sun and the moon
Spin past in a myriad of light.
The stars flash and change but the people remain
And the voiceless continue their plight.
Their dignity stripped and their names tainted red
Their identities marked on a page.
These are the humans who suffer your words
And cry out in unvocalized rage.

Eleanor (Rosie) Roberts is a high school student from Australia. She dedicates this poem to those who have lost their sense of dignity within our contemporary world.