Lamentations of a Grand Old Lady

Former hotel worker writes a poem about the demise of the Keremeos Hotel

  • Jul. 24, 2014 5:00 a.m.


With a wailing

that only the wisest hearts can hear

The ghosts of lives long past

rose on the scorching thermals

above the conflageration


who loved the Grand old lady

watched with swimming eyes

As the hellish vision

grew and gained momentum.

The flames high above our heads

climbed the walls

and threaded through the passage ways.

Black  tongues of smoke

tasted what would be consumed

like a string of hideous heads.

the dark windows flared red

before they shattered.

We watched the gruesome course

unravelling the lifelines

that tied us to

our Grand old dame

and left our hearts breaking.

The end came

upon the wheels of exhaustion

as a beast of steel, the colour of flame

wrought down what had not burned.

The hope that something might survive

was shattered,

and forever changed,

we turned and walked away




– Shai Snyder is and artist and writer who worked for more than 10 years at the Keremeos Hotel Liquor Store .


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