• Vilma Ginzberg

Power Outage



our daily schedules whiplashed

between powered-up

and pioneer

we see-saw our days

from habitual to survivor

tailing on the end

of corporate decision

when the power is on

like drunken sailors on leave

we indulge in our

electronic entertainments

internet and tv and radio

recharge our phones

microwave hot soups

we can eat cold tomorrow

hardboil eggs that can outlast

the fridge’s future shut-down

freeze our yogurts and cheeses

to last longer

and stock up on fruits

and energy bars

by day in real light

we storehouse lanterns and batteries

flashlights and portable rechargers

and the nearly useless wind-up emergency radio

in the pretend zone of our remembrance

we make our mental adjustments

hurrying our daytime chores

until night actually arrives

then like apocalypse

all goes dark

humless

our mind becomes our irises

adjusting to the dark silence

making translations of the ordinary

into the unfamiliar language of outage

by lantern and flashlight

our familiar becomes foreign

like time and space travelers

we reorient our senses

our sense of our home

our sense of ourselves

soon we bring out the

manual crossword puzzles and jigsaws

and relearn how to play solitaire

with real cards by candlelight

or gather with family or neighbors

telling stories by moonlight

on old-fashioned porches

as the heart goes easy again

before the lightless night

too long for sleep begins

the partnered embrace

in gratitude

the claustrophobic and light-starved

find islands of overflow light

and gulp stealthily

before bedtime comes

with its pitch black silence

and primaeval aloneness


© Vilma Olsvary Ginzberg, 10-25-2019


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