As I wander along the boulevard,
The remains of opulence and grandeur
Precariously stand or merely lean
Against each other like injured soldiers
Courageously holding a jagged line.
I walk on hexagonal sidewalk blocks.
What once were laid graciously interlocked
Are hewn by chaos finding final rest
Upon the uprooted maples and oaks
Like dead seeds sewn in the pockmarked asphalt.
I enter a grand hallway and look up
To see the unintentional skylight
Letting sun and shadows that lead the way
To a broken brass banister barely
Fastened to its partner of crumbling stairs.
I ascend each step paradoxically
Climbing with diffidence and insistence.
In a stupor my confusion conquers
Any fear of falling through fractured floors
As I come to an open balcony.
I feel faint looking at the horizon
Merging what I see with my memories.
I am sad not for what lies before me
Rather for friendship and love I have lost.
Then a voice I recognize starts to speak:
"Allow your heart to be ever open.
Fill your life with limitless compassion.
Then you will never lose those whom you've loved.
They have already been interwoven
Within the rich tapestry of your soul."
I learn despite surrounded by debris
There is a constantly blooming garden
That resides deep within each living cell
Defying destructive disharmony.
It is by love, by God, with love we grow.