Eclipse in Manhattan

That day for lunch they gathered outside,
held pinhole cameras instead of deli sandwiches
while the moon swallowed the sun halfway.
Even the street drummers were silent
as the eclipse dimmed herald square:
bigger than the empire state building,
bigger than broadway
where the people stood silent in the eerie light.
Any other day they’d be racing streetlights and taxis
while the drummers beat crazy percussion on plastic buckets;
while the placid sun dozed in a smoggy sky.
Few of them realized we are all human together
until our star waned into a fragile crescent
burning a miniature sign at our feet.

© 2001 Christine Klocek-Lim
first published in “Mi Poesias,” 2001 Cities Issue, Volume 6