Henry E Crawford writes: My second collection, Binary Planet, was supposed to be launched at AWP but like many, my publisher rightfully pulled out at the last minute. 

Henry Crawford

the generators failed
streetlights went dark
afraid to go out
they stopped reading news
had no flashlights
could not work a compass
no longer kept books
forgot how to sew
could not tie a knot
their trees were falling
they had no seeds
the doors were locked
no telephone calls
they stopped writing letters
walked through debris
could not see the stars
were afraid of the sun
their roads were crumbling
the windows were shut
they could not tell a joke
preferred to stay in
danced without partners
did not go to stores
wary of others
their schools were guarded
they stood by their guns
kept children inside
breathed difficult air
it was hard to find clocks
they didn't buy music
rarely looked out
someone said it was raining
no one could tell
they thought it was cold
it was colder

Listen to Henry Crawford reading this poem aloud.

First Published in the Southern Humanities Review