The Parade’s Gone By
Miss Desmond, your boy was right:
The parade’s gone by,
I heard it’s moved online –
A nice place to visit but
I sure as hell don’t want to live
Where I can only touch
What I cannot feel.
“We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!” you cried,
But Norma, now that’s all we got:
Talking heads, ephemeral shadows
Locked behind a screen
And I can’t get a connection.
Yes Miss Desmond, the parade has indeed passed us by;
It’s been a week but I can still hear the stomping of the boots in my ears,
My hope waving good-bye to a tardy Santa Claus,
I am forbidden to touch.
– Heather Babcock, March 2020
Note: This is not a political poem. I wrote this Sunday morning as a way to work through the anxiety and fear that I have been experiencing due to the Covid-19 shutdowns. I thought that Norma Desmond – the fictional silent film star from Sunset Boulevard (1950), a woman who is described by her younger lover as “waving to a parade that had long passed her by”- was a good symbol for the way that I am feeling right now. The difference is that Norma mourned the passing of silence while I miss the noise.
So very much. ❤