They Did Not Rebuild Here

A poem by Cody Taylor: 

 

Before, the world would well up on grass blades.

I remember dew on my feet and sunlight warming

my legs as it came over the horizon.

 

I remember the way the light wrapped around the buildings

in the town square and how my lungs heaved from

playing in the alleyways.

 

But now, my memories are irregular and uneven. I remember,

even if the world has forgotten, as I wheel myself up

the hill that overlooks the empty square.

 

Patchy grass lies folded in two parallel lines behind me.

They did not rebuild here; the windows all around still

are polka-dotted with holes from the shrapnel.

 

And the night doesn’t fall gracefully, like it used to. 

Instead it twists around the tree branches,

and then it bends and snaps.