I am here...right here...
just a step or two away
with only the distance
of the aisle to separate us.
You are looking at cans of tuna fish,
I am contemplating vegetable soup.
You turn and look in my direction and I smile
but your eyes are blank and unfocused;
seeing right through me,
not seeing me at all,
as if I have become Invisible.
Again and again I observe this
in American marketplaces
and city streets, where a
smile and a “Hello” are rare commodities
and sometimes more precious than gold.
We are a nation of Invisible People:
frightened of any confrontation
beyond our computer and cell phone screens.
How will we re-learn the Art
of spoken Communication
once it is forever lost?
Will our public voices continue
to dwindle into nothingness
...until only silence remains?
(dedicated to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, who envisioned this long before I did, and wrote about it in “The Sound of Silence.” Poetry can be prophesy.)