Donna Stonecipher


The Ruins of Nostalgia 7

Four deer stood poised down in a valley as the train passed by, like four artworks in a museum, framed in the rectangular windows of the train, a tableau vivant that hardly changes no matter how many times the train passes, heading north or heading south, for the poised deer are the same poised deer that stood there a century ago, the streams ferrying their cargo of dead twigs are the same streams as two centuries ago, the trees felled and ­planted and ­tended and felled and planted and tended, and felled,

The Ruins of Nostalgia 21

We didn’t miss mercers or chandlers, and anyway the world was still full of silk cloth and candles. We didn’t miss coopers or smiths. We didn’t miss elevator boys or indexers, haberdashers or confectioners or lady’s maids or almoners. We didn’t miss typists. We didn’t miss scriveners. So would we really miss doctors and lawyers and accountants when the day came, and the radio tonight said it was coming, when their expertise was surpassed by software?    *    We didn’t miss the assembly line.