"The Dying City" by Tara Hart
The Dying City
Numerous maps and exhibits show Civita [di Bagnoregio]’s gradual reduction since the ancient Etruscans founded the town on volcanic rock 2,500 years ago. It's estimated that today's Civita is just one-third of the original settlement. . . . The cause is erosion. The mountain's sides are melting away, plummeting to the canyons below. — Sylvia Poggoli, NPR, October 2017
Now there’s only one way in, which
is the one way out.
Things are starting to slide. Let them slide.
We are below, and you are taking our breath.
A bar or two still serving. There are flowers
planted in the shadow of the cross on the square.
We are leaving, your granddaughter the only witness
to the white horse that emerges from the brush underneath.
Tara Hart, PhD, was awarded a Pushcart Prize for Poetry in 2011 from the publication of "Patronized" in Little Patuxent Review. She has a chapbook entitled The Colors of Absence and several poems in the anthology to linger on hot coals: collected poetic works from grieving women writers. Other poems have appeared in journals such as TriQuarterly, Welter, and The Muse. She is a Professor of English, Arts & Humanities; Department Chair of Humanities; and the Coordinator of Creative Writing at Howard Community College in Maryland, and is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of HoCoPoLitSo (the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society). She has served as a host of HoCoPoLitSo’s TV show The Writing Life in “A Literary Gathering of Women: The Craft of Writing” and “A Literary Gathering of Women: Exploring Themes in Literature.” Her chapter, “Still Points: Mary Austin’s Compositions and Explanations,” from the dissertation Tender Horizons: The American Landscapes of Austin and Stein, is published in Exploring Lost Borders: Critical Essays on Mary Austin (University of Nevada Press).
Headshot: Tara Hart
Photo Credit: Staff