Campus Scene

blank faces
borne like bleak banners in endless procession
bobbing in unison to the thud of heartbeats
sheared into neat digital intervals

marching up and down Wright Street
past lonely men handing out ad sheets
trudging through rain-soaked walkways
under a twilight fog of tears
pouring forth in a steady grey drench
umbrellas brandished like muskets
unfurled flags of mourning
a skeleton army laden with bookbags and backpacks
mounts steps
pries open heavy wooden doors
and files into ghastly cathedrals
all beneath the cries of the bells
the monstrous bells rolling forth rusty notes
upon the hour from Altgeld's solemn spire
and the shrieking bells of summons
and dismissal

George Chadderdon © 1993