It’s late, guests and family gone.
The lights from the tree reflect
In the amber liquid of my glass.
All is quiet, save the echoes.

The sound of children’s laughter,
Voices of the adults they’ve become
And of those who share the empty chair:
All resonate in the empty room.

Ordinary people, sustaining each other;
Each laying one more block
In the ever-stronger castle wall
Behind which the new arrive.

My voice will join the echoes
Of the Legion of the Ordinary–
Those whom history will never know,
Yet upon whose backs the load is carried.


John Rowland refers to himself as “a bit of an alien in the literary world.” He’s a mathematician by education and spent thirty years working in quality assurance and manufacturing systems, mostly in the automotive industry. He retired ten years ago, and he and his wife have spent those years on their sailboat in the eastern Caribbean.






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