The Vestigial Organ

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Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Technological advancement may have made this ancient construct unnecessary on most days. But it is necessary, so be sure to keep it clean and clear, for one fateful day it could save many lives.


The Vestigial Organ


My ancestors,

they tell a story

Of forgotten days,

of glamor and glory

Then why today,

am I a nobody?


Unadorned, unpolished

lacking splendor

I am a cheap, sad, copy

of my grand grandfather


He was displayed

with pomp and pride,

but I am shoved

to a corner aside

While he was

the walk of fame,

when I'm noticed

I burn with shame

behind my door

marked with a flame


Even my mother

saw better days

Dull, but much needed

she was contended

And when she aided

in a secret affair

in the excitement

she would share


But me, I have no purpose

A relic of the past,

dirty and repulsive,

I lay neglected

With all that's smelly,

forgotten and rejected


Until one day,

befell a great tragedy

Then suddenly,

everyone crowded on to me


While their world

turned bright and hot,

it was me

they frantically sought,

though most of them

had known me not


In anguished screams,

they lamented my neglect

As they waded through,

grime and trash

desperate to escape,

smoke and ash


It took a massacre,

for me to learn my purpose

It took a bloodbath,

for them to remember it

But how long before they forget

and I return to a state of neglect?


This is a poem about the change in role of stairs in our society. They used to be both useful and grand in palaces and mansions where royalty and nobility walked down while everyone watched in awe. Then they became common place and widely used, and during certain hours of they day, they ocassionally, served as a refuge for lovers. But today, especially in high rises, they are hardly ever used. Yet they are far from obsolete. We never think much of them, but if ever we needed them, really needed them, we would want them to be in the best of shape, for many lives could be saved by an unobstructed, clean, well maintained stairwell when a high rise is on fire.

Tags: values, poetry, technology, contemporary