Passing Things

by Paul Hooker

A generation goes, a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. 
Ecclesiastes 1:4
The sun rises against its will
would choose the comfortable quilt of darkness
over ineluctable morning.
The earth turns.
Obvious things, mentioned for
the obviousness of things, the tiresome rote
of days. Yet beneath, something different.
Something new.
Swelling, pulsing, throbbing like
unsatisfied longing, hangover from a
future held politely to the lips 
but not drunk.
Something is passing away—
disease, an order, a way of life, a dream—
We will all survive this, we are told.
Some, not all. 
José Ameal survived
the Spanish Flu. Nineteen eighteen. He was four.
From his bed he peeked through drawn curtains
looked outside
to watch the souls passing by—
“so many dead”— on the streets of Luarca
in north Spain. Did he wonder if his
turn would come?
He lived to be imprisoned
by Franco, bury his wife in ’fifty-one,
marry another and live fifty
more good years.
Something is passing away.
We peek through drawn curtains at the procession
of souls. We wonder if today our
turn will come.
Tomorrow the sun will rise
reluctant, as though choosing its darkling quilt
over inevitable morning.
The earth turns.