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The Cupola

The Cupola

Robert Hamblin

From Bread and Stones, 2022

                        —Cape Girardeau, 2022

Freshly painted,

the cupola

of the old courthouse,

shines brilliantly white

against the dying blue of the sky.

The spotlight will keep it shining

throughout the night.

A pictograph of survival

and continuance.

The courthouse

was constructed in 1854,

the cupola added

when the building

was remodeled in 1888.

Now it’s been remodeled again.

In my old age

I’m sensitive to transitions,

there are so many

to get used to,

and the courthouse

has known its share.

It’s now City Hall,

where I go to vote.

I’m grateful the building

has been preserved.

Some things can’t be.

I sit on the bench

where Kaye and I often sat

and looked down

on the town and the river.

We came here

on her last walks,

before she was consigned

to the hospital bed.

Today I linger

a bit longer than usual,


Soon the fading of the light

and the chirping of crickets

will call me from my reverie,

remind me that life goes on,

however changed,

send me home

to ready a strategy

for another day.

Leaving the park,

I turn for one more look

at the cupola,

blazing in the darkness.