Seven Wonders

by: William Reichard

A resolute man, in his hunger for wonder,
goes searching for the next best thing.
The first Seven Wonders are inconsolable.
Their time is done.
Each starts to take itself apart, brick
by brick by log by stone. Each leaves enough
so that the man might be punished
when he sees what’s become of them.
He travels for years and thinks he finds
new wonders. His suitcase expands
and contracts as he adds, then subtracts
those things he thought were rarities.
Time passes and winds blow
and finally, everything left is buried
in sand, except for the artifacts
housed in museums. But even these
don’t thrive. Roman marble faces
on proper British walls grow sad
and sag until they’re expressionless.
No one remembers what the great Sphinx
said and the Hanging Gardens are gone,
like the Colossus of Rhodes;
mere ghosts in their own lands.
The resolute man never comes home.
Hunger knows no boundaries
and what might have been
his garden paradise is now a desert.
Who would recognize him?
His name fades from history
and his portrait, made when
he was young, resembles no one,
or anyone; pale green eyes,
short brown hair,
a smile shy, but beguiling.