© Matthew Word Bain

my grandfathers were born five years after the Panic of ’93
this town’s failure to thrive still serves as a reminder
of the lasting impact such an event can have

my parents were born in the moment
between The Great Depression
and World War II

gazing at this image and doing the math
I know I am a reminder of The Great Depression
being ushered out with sugar rations and blackout curtains
and I wonder if I am a reminder of the Panic of ’93

one thing leads to another
and time is a river
and what is it about this town
to me a strange attractor from the past
still haunting the present
and is there a strange attractor
in the future that is keeping it alive
these buildings still standing even when
they seem to signify only misery
to those who live nearby

reminders of
what was at once
the right side of the tracks
and on the wrong side of history

what will remind us
of these times in between
and those times long gone before
when these old buildings become home
to the coffee shops and rooftop bars
made to cater to the hipsters
of the biotech boom?