And the Poets Down Here...
Tillie and the Palace
by Nick Mancini

I see a place I used to go once,
filled with laughter all the time.
Now it sits alone like a dying friend
that I cannot help in a time of need.

Why was this friend abandoned?

He brought us so much
in our days of innocence.
He has never asked much of us,
just our company.

The holes grow larger
with every visit,
the cracks get longer with every day.
These are scars
that may not go away.

The sounds of joy he used to know
are now replaced with the winds of nothingness.
Even though his ways are shut and his
lights are long gone, he continues to smile upon us all.

Maybe he knows, knows that we are trying
to take away the emptiness and refill his shell
with the sounds of happiness.
So keep smiling my friend,
we won't let you go that easily.