The Unliving Room

by Lee A. Hart

In a house like any other,
In the now late afternoon,
Outside, the sun shines brightly,
But shadows crowd the room.

Two people sit in silence,
Each lost within their screens.
For years they've been together,
At least, that's how it seems.

They built a life together,
By sharing hopes and dreams.
But now their lives have drifted
To opposite extremes.

There's no need for dependence
On discourse or debate.
They each know all the answers
For who to trust or hate.

Each lives within their fortress,
Defended by their tribe.
The walls provide protection
From emptiness inside.

They do not know their neighbors,
Or watch the local news,
Except for commentators,
That reinforce their views.

They speak of things that matter,
Where shall we eat tonight?
But not of moral issues
That only start a fight.

No longer can she touch his heart,
They're only touching hands.
And he can't reach inside her head
To make her understand.

And the light is slowly fading,
But they hardly seem to know.
As their faces are still bathing,
In the screen's alluring glow.


This sad little poem was inspired by Simon & Garfunkel's song "The Dangling Conversation". It's a common situation we face today -- people living together, but with minds far apart; isolated and polarized by their screens, TVs, and phones.

A poem by Lee A. Hart, © 1984-2020 by Lee A. Hart. Created 3/6/2012. Last updated 3/30/2020.
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