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after the fall part 5: the sentinel

Abandoned seminary - Matthew Christopher's Abandoned America
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back in medieval times there were people called sentinels.
while the city slept they stood at the gates
watching, always watching the blankness of the cold night in which they stood.
and when enemies were coming they would raise the alarm,
so no one was caught unprepared.
there were such people in my time as well,
and they warned us and warned us and warned us again...
but we wanted to sleep, we wanted
the murky comforts of our dreams.
it was so much easier to believe that since
we thought things had always been a certain way,
they always would be. we could deal
with our problems some other day, when
it suited us to do so. there was no rush.
and so we shunned our sentinels and ignored their dire prophecies because
with withered hands and faces blackened by what they had seen,
they told us all along that the threat came not from
some foreign army storming our homelands
they told us that we were the ones destroying ourselves.

Ammendale Normal Institute, Ammendale MD. 2006

Photograph and text by Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America