The Blackout

The streets are filled with idle, itching hands,
their owners on the prowl in vain pursuit
of some pastime to fill the vacant hours
in darkened rooms enswamped with summer heat.

Without their cellphones, TV sets and games,
and fast-food fare likewise beyond their grasp,
how will the city’s folk be entertained?
On what diversions will they spend their cash?

Driveways are strewn with fallen trees and wires;
on front lawns, baking in the noon-day sun,
we sit in wrought iron chairs, and just perspire.
And wait. There’s not much else that can be done.

Who wants to light a flame to cook a meal,
and add the stove’s hell-fire to this malaise?
It’s better to go hungry than to broil;
besides, the food’s gone bad. It’s been two days.

Tonight, the house is hotter in than out;
by candlelight, perhaps I’ll read a while.
I miss the air conditioner’s white noise;
Too bad such silence has gone out of style.

11 JUL 2005

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