You can find To Market, the first So It Goes poem, here
Some of the houses from which people fled
Have been condemned and torn down,
While others were destroyed by the bombs.
Most have been renovated and reoccupied.
Very few remain as they once were,
Frozen in a moment in time,
As their occupants scurried somewhere else,
The boy doesn’t remember those days,
But despite them being before his time,
He hears about them everywhere he goes.
Descriptions of war,
Descriptions of hunger,
Descriptions of an unthinkable time,
Always followed by ‘But you wouldn’t understand.’
Few of the houses remain as they were,
But they still exist,
Mostly in rural, forgotten areas,
And the boy knows where to find them.
Inside, days that have passed are here and now,
Preserved for those who missed them the first time around.
Many people left quickly,
Leaving behind anything that wasn’t essential.
The open books on the tables and dishes in the sink
Give off an impression that there’s someone still there,
Just in the next room,
Just out of sight.
Picture frames line the walls
The photos behind the glass covered
With the dust and dirt of years of neglect.
The boy likes to clean off the grime
And study the families that haven’t returned.
Christmas dinners and birthday parties,
Vacations and special occasions,
And random insignificant moments
That just happened to occur with a camera nearby.
Two parents and their children beaming next to a pool,
An elderly couple unwrapping presents together,
A group of children running through a sprinkler.
Where are they now?
Maybe they’re somewhere safer.
Maybe they’re dead.
Maybe it’s both.
The boy tries to imagine the happy people in the photos
Stuffing their essentials into suitcases,
Leaving their dishes behind,
And their books, and their lives.
He tries to imagine the worry and the helplessness,
And the loudly spoken but silently doubtful conviction
That one day this will be over and one day they’ll return.
The boy knows that he doesn’t understand,
That he shouldn’t understand,
But all the same, he wants to.