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Time, here, who, mutation

We’re really in a very small place

and those old enough to remember

know how hard it was

We’re glad it’s over

We don’t want returns to the past

Even what was taken from us

We express our thanks

just to see fields ripen

freshen the air

exchange glances with deer in the shadow of

the implicated grove

just to hear the lathes grind again in the workshops

to see flatbreads pile up in front windows

long-lost books back in the stalls

instead of what piled up before

They all left long ago

Those responsible

or so the niches in the moldy walls whisper back to us


The quiet wind over the hillock

The fences whitewashed again

It’s not as if everything’s the same

There are roads you don’t travel down

Certain words dropped from the language

perfectly good words before

words for what they dragged away

Questions don’t have easy answers

you must understand

Traces may well be found

but we won’t know

When they left

they looted conviction


Andy Oram is a writer and editor in the computer field. His editorial projects have ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. Print publications include The Economist, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, and Vanguardia Dossier. His poems have been published in Ají, Arlington Literary Journal, Conclave, Genre: Urban Arts, Heron Clan, Offcourse, Panoply, Soul-Lit, and Speckled Trout Review.


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