Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company once employed 27,000 workers. It was closed in 1977.‘The Injured, Desolate Jericho’ by E.V. Wyler The Society September 2, 2018 Culture, News of Note, Poetry 14 Comments This villanelle is a tribute to the Rust Belt, and all the communities devastated when corporations close their American plants in pursuit of cheaper labor abroad. Where silhouetted sentinels silently stand in vain bleeding shades of layered shame on blight-lined highways below, their ghostly shadows remind us of dreams we dared to drain. Interred on unkempt plots, crumbling brick carcasses maintain evidence we’re forced to see if the trails of traffic slow where silhouetted sentinels silently stand in vain. Rush-hour bottlenecks, the frustrated drivers’ daily bane, exact tolls of tribute to hollowed homes lost long ago. Their ghostly shadows remind us of dreams we dared to drain. Daylight, drowned in the windowless dam of a plywood pane, begs blackness, dwelling within abandoned walls, who’ll dare go where silhouetted sentinels silently stand in vain? Does the doll left naked on a spray-painted stoop remain to testify children once played under its portico? Their ghostly shadows remind us of dreams we dared to drain. As darkness descends, the caravans of commuters wane, leaving deserted the injured, desolate Jericho. Where silhouetted sentinels silently stand in vain, their ghostly shadows remind us of dreams we dared to drain. E. V. “Beth” Wyler grew up in Elmont, NY. At 43, she obtained her associate’s degree from Bergen Community College. She and her husband, Richard, share their empty Fair Lawn, NJ nest with 3 cats and a beta fish. Her oldest daughter is a biomedical engineer and her other two children are SUNY undergraduate students. E. V. Wyler’s poetry has been published in: The Storyteller, Feelings of the Heart, WestWard Quarterly, The Pink Chameleon, Nuthouse Magazine, The Rotary Dial, and on the website Poetry Soup. In addition, 3 accepted poems are pending publication in Vox Poetica. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 14 Responses Amy Foreman September 2, 2018 Both moving and haunting, E.V. Thank you for sharing this. Reply E. V. September 2, 2018 Thank you, Amy! Have a great Labor Day weekend. E. V. Reply Joseph Tessitore September 2, 2018 How powerful and beautifully written is this? Bravo, E.V.! Reply E. V. September 2, 2018 Thank you, Joe. Your compliment means a lot to me. Reply James A. Tweedie September 2, 2018 E.V., The message is powerful. The thought progression is smooth. The word-painting is over-the-top wonderful. The rhyme scheme is natural and unforced (this is a no small accomplishment for a villanelle). The only issue (for me at least) is that the metrical pattern is erratically random and impossible to follow (heptameter?). In the end, though, the poem “works,” and works well. PS: It may be obvious to everyone else but I have no idea what the phrase, “dreams we dared to drain,” means. How does one drain a dream? Reply E. V. September 2, 2018 Hi, James. Thanks for the compliments. Like a dwindling body of water trickling down a drain, we dared to permit the American Dream to slip away for so many formerly middle class and working class people. Hope this helps. Reply C.B. Anderson September 2, 2018 James, You are right about the meter (or lack thereof). One can only assume that this verse is syllabic, and I hope that this was the author’s intention. Reply Charlie Southerland September 2, 2018 Anapests and dactyls and Buddy Rich riffs, oh my! It’s Ink Blot art. James A. Tweedie September 2, 2018 It helps. Thank you. The problem was mine. Reply E. V. September 2, 2018 Have a nice Labor Day weekend! Reply David Paul Behrens September 2, 2018 A very descriptive and fluid use of words in this poem. Well done! Reply E. V. September 2, 2018 Thank you, David! Reply Jerry King September 17, 2018 Very good Poem. The message was powerful and well delivered Also, well put together. Reply E. V. September 18, 2018 Thank you, Jerry! Reply Leave a Reply to C.B. Anderson Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.