Fare thee well

Fare thee well my southern land
Home of old
Not much left of her
But memories of what once was

Vacant lots where chapels stood
Left barren and flat
Broken brick and glass
Are now their foundation

Bustling streets can be seen
In books that speak of her demise
Buildings of great architecture
Spread out as rubble under foot

To stand and gaze upon her streets
Where our paths had taken shape
I feel the sadness in flashing memories
But smile at the joy in its reflection

The love that remains for this ghost
In the hearts of those who call her home
Tender are her caretakers
Making the best of what remains

When reunited we feel as one
As if our roots were all the same
We speak of her as if she still stood proud
Fighting for the glory she still has left to give

From these ashes can she rise again
As prayed for with each nights breath
To save her which is loved so much
For nowhere else can we call home

About this poem

My hometown Cairo Illinois was a bustling town with a great future. After corruption and race riots it has dwindled to nothing but a ghost town written about for its great demise.

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Written on July 29, 2021

Submitted by xmasday65 on July 12, 2023

56 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 917
Words 189
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Mark A Klein

Published Poet working on a second book. Love to write when it come to me. more…

All Mark A Klein poems | Mark A Klein Books

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Discuss the poem Fare thee well with the community...

  • Vixility
    I can see why the local residents would be proud of the poem—ever thought of sharing it with local media? A newspaper or local magazine (if those are still distributed)?

    There’s always the hope that the economy could change in such a way as to demand renovation and regrowth in Cairo. It would be nice if a tourism initiative could get started in order to bring a little more life and activity there.

    Anyhow, again, your poem and the history behind it moved me. I hope the racial tensions are a thing of the past, or a least diminishing. Your hometown, Cairo, is in my prayers.
    LikeReply9 months ago
  • Vixility
    Man, this breaks my heart. When I read this last month I jotted down this note: ‘where is this place’. Then, after having read your ‘about this poem’ comment I had to look this up and then reread your poem.

    In light of all that information this poem of yours is both powerful and tragic. Thank you for sharing.
    LikeReply9 months ago
    • Vixility
      LikeReply9 months ago
    • xmasday65
      Thank you for taking time to look up my hometown and share your thoughts with me. Seldom do people care as much as you. Means a lot.
      I’ve watched the determination over the years. The people are wonderful and it truly breaks my heart. I shared this poem with them and it tears at their hearts. They love it as much as me. Cairo will always be my home. 
      LikeReply 19 months ago


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"Fare thee well" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/165818/fare-thee-well>.

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