Friday, February 11, 2005

This Is A Test

Do not be alarmed.
This is only a test.
Repeat.
Only a test.
Placed before you...

If this had been a real emergency,
You would have been instructed
Who you might have called,
What you might have done,
Where you might have sought
Shelter in a world
Of decaying, half-lives.
A blessing... a curse...

You would have tuned
Into your station,
And watched your life
Flicker before you;
The picture going fuzzy
In the midst of a frantic newscast;
And you would have been alone
In your living room.
A bowl of fire...

You would have understood
How this came to be,
And could not not be;
And you might have huddled
In your hollowed-out earth --
In the mother who abandoned you,
The vessel that has tried you --
Scanning the static waves,
Appalled by the raging absence,
By the fast-becoming-naught.

A bowl of water...

Or, you might have gathered your treasure,
Stepped out, into the white air,
And taken the draught.
Life or death...

But, this was not a real emergency.
This was only a test.
Repeat.
Only a test.

Stretch out your hand...

Choose.

4 Comments:

Blogger Ned said...

Powerful, indicting, thought-provoking, relevant to the instability and overwhelming threat
of our times yet individually and eternally relevant.
A gripping mix of imagery, it is impressive in message, construction and delivery
A laying down of a judgment sure but eligible for suspension. Choose now? Or wait until it is too late?

2/11/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

Is the cold war forgotten? A generation arises that knows nothing of it. Yet there were times we stood on the brink and had to think carefully about that choice. It's all a matter of in what or Whom you
put your trust...

2/11/2005 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

Ned --

You are a gentlewoman and a scholar. You should be teaching.

Gone Away --

Trust is key.

2/12/2005 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Why, exactly, do we assume that in the case of such a catastrophe, that the cable will still be on, when it doesn't last through a rainstorm (or even a drizzle?)

2/13/2005 11:48:00 PM  

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