©Mark Ali, 2010

The unifying force,
a bedridden patriarch,
helpless and hopeless,
power immobilized,
unable to utter a single word,
communicated through the subtlest of  forces –
the barest of blinks and twitches,
the weakest of shimmies and wiggles,
the faintest of groans and sighs –
tremors of the body,
if not paid attention to or heeded,
were easy to miss, even easier to ignore.
He had been the focal point of flowers,
banners, streamers, balloons, and cards,
sentiments of speedy recoveries, and well-wishes,
(though superficial and prepackaged)
given by those that should have been raising his spirits,
instead lowering their own natures,
collectively commiserating in misery,
real and imagined, forgotten and fresh,
all self-indulgent and excessive,
(not to mentioned ill-timed)
voices raised and fingers pointed,
old scabs, scars, and sensibilities raised,
festering in the present of generational gaps,
imploding in the past of family feuds,
fighting over the gulf created
as he haplessly looked on,
tilting his eyes from side to side,
the referee without his whistle,
finally silenced,
the epicenter of this natural disaster,
willing to rumble, unable to quake,
now just a crack in the pavement,
nothing more than an aftershock.
©Mark Ali, 2010

Mark Ali, who was bawped in the summer of 2009, is having collaboration withdrawal (The Shakes) as he thinks of his experience in his summer institute. He has now entered the stage of his teaching career, especially in this current climate of constant reform, where he feels like Phil Connors in Punxsutawney on his way to Gobbler’s Knob — again

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One Response to “The Main Shock by Mark Ali”

  1. Adela Says:

    I read this several times, each time feeling more deeply the sadness and frustration of the subject, “unable to quake” at the commotion around him. I have an in-law who is elderly and struggling to remain his usual vibrant self and this poem captured what I think he must be feeling. Thank you for publishing this.

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