This is a Test  

  (And Only a Test) 


Most of you are too young 

to remember when the three 

television channels would sign 

off for the night with a test 

pattern on the screen. 


Yet here I am again, 

momentarily awakened 

by the monochromatic 

screen blaring its geometric 

hues into the wee hours 


of morning, accompanied by 

a robotic voice incanting 

the mantra, “This is a Test, 

And Only a Test”. I am taken 

aback by this recitation, 


as the old pattern was 

without voice, only a visual 

guide. Why has this voice

arisen at this juncture? 

What is the cry being raised? 


I wonder aloud this time, 

is my own life nothing 

more than a test

and only a test?



©Paul Goldman July 18, 2022

[image by artist grebeshkovmaxim]

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