Silence in the place of silence.
A cheap chain-link fence holds it in.
Now and then the creak of a yellow traffic light
swinging in the wind. Through the roofless,
windowless stone-and brick walls, you
can see the bitter loss, the sharp azure-blue sky
big beyond belief, promising nothing. What
goodness, what atrocity, was unremarkable here.
Ruin as non-memorial, commemorating nothing.
Winter-whitened Bermuda grass holds on, the
end uncertain. The old oak next to the nailed-in
front doors a witness to
every parade of hope, every parade of pain.
No words to hold on to.

Jon Thompson: In addition to writing poetry and essays, Jon Thompson edits FREE VERSE: A JOURNAL OF POETRY & POETICS, an online venture that publishes poetry, poetry in translation, interviews and reviews. He also edits the single-author perfect-bound, paperback poetry series, Free Verse Editions, which since 2005, has published thirty collections of original poetry and translations by leading poets in the Anglophone poetry world and outside it: Brenda Hillman, Cole Swensen, Adam Clay, Peter Riley, Attilio Bertolucci, Molly Bendall and others. For more on my work, go to