Together Alone

By Joseph Hesch

I remember the final scene
of the great western, The Searchers,
when John Wayne, as brave and vile
Ethan, is framed outside the doorway
of the Jorgensens’ home,
where what’s left of his family had
left him standing in the
dust-blown daylight.
He stands a solitary monolith
in the mid ground of a shot
of Monument Valley.
And then the door slams shut,
abruptly turning the screen black,
leaving us to wonder
about the future of a solitary man.
But what about the people left in the dark?
Don’t they each have their own
disappointments, failures
and fears yet to carry?
When the winds of time come to pull
the roof off their dark hiding space and
the sun shines down on each of them
and upon each of us, as well,
do you think we’ll realize
that we are like Ethan
and his family?
Alone together?
Together, yet alone?

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