• Susanna Lang

Even Now

Updated: Jul 24, 2019


Even diplomats are required to pay the tax, said the mayor.

Shopkeepers have disappeared in full daylight and the daylight disappeared as well.

The eclipse could be seen from Brazil to Mongolia, but not here;

we did not even bother to look.


Even the flowing river has been blocked;

they had tape of the official announcement on the radio.

A cemetery has been buried and another relocated,

the graves dug up one by one to make room for an airport.

The developers arranged for a 120 year old oak to be moved,

its rootball exposed and trimmed before it was lifted onto the flatbed. (stanza break)


Even the government knows where the earth will quake and split,

removing entire sections of the city as if they were never there

except that we will remember them, the streets and houses shaded by trees;

but no one knows when.


Even our parents have lost their way home.

The streets turn right where they used to turn left,

the lights blink red, the bridge is permanently raised, the freight train stops at the crossing.

It may not move again until tomorrow.


Even you have misplaced your keys, your wallet, the reason you were leaving the house,

and I can’t find that paper I just had in my hands

or the story I used to know by heart.


We have all lost so many things, perhaps all we had,

perhaps not



The title poem of my first book (Even Now, available from The Backwaters Press).


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