This city has a charm or two
Still alive to offer us; though not as bright
Or exhaustingly good or stirring
As in our precious previous years.
Still this city offers, still to bring us joys,
However tepid they appear
In the light of histories
That burned so much brighter in the surrounding night.
Still, still, the large city burns,
Embers only, but embers still.
The dark shadows on the streets
Cast o’er the grimacing faces
Tempt us to despair—but still we see
There still exists an ember here and there;
Not all good light extinguished—
If it only be enough
To see the shadows by, it is still
Enough to see the face of the kind child,
Granddaughter of granddaughters,
Turn up in a spontaneous smile!
No, we do not despair, though cities
Sometimes fall into disrepair,
We are not utterly ruined, yet.
Still this city offers, still, still it calls to us
To draw our faces upward in
The childlike enthusiasm of spontaneous smiles.
See, there in that corner no one knows,
The city offers us new laughter and joys.
The embers still embark—the embers glow!
10 April 2008