Posts Tagged ‘time’

To A Niece

If I could offer
an elixir to assuage grief’s
dark dominance,
that precious goblet would be
filled to the brim.
Yet all I possess is this
feeble script,
the mundane balm of these
ineffectual words:
“Trust me, it will get better.”
When eyes,
heartbroken, ask, “but how,”
my silence
is a bitter pill to swallow,
so I say “listen.”
Time’s prescription alone
is the answer.


Ice Skaters

We timidly tiptoe from the shore,
wary of every creak,
not trusting our full weight on its
slippery ballroom floor.
Lured by an orchestrating wind,
a couple, teenagers still,
are already out over their heads,
intoxicated by the dance.
Bold laughter echoes the music
that fills their eyes.
Laced into blades sharp enough
to draw warm blood
or a gush of icy water from below,
on fresh sea legs
they twirl, whirl and dare to taunt
the depths underneath.
Moon drunk and in starring roles,
the stage is theirs alone.
To them, at sixteen, tragedy is
an old wives’ tale
since forever seems unbreakable
and love’s invisibility is
firm ground for entwined dreams.
Joined hand in hand,
still eluding Time’s envious glance,
the weight of years
has yet to crack beneath their feet.


What we do while waiting…

Rake the leaves. Watch a cool, wet
spring day paste them back on.
Attend Sunday church. Saturday weddings.
Unexpected funerals. Turn over
the calendar a page at a time. Note
the solstice and equinox.
Add another candle to the birthday cake.

Become preoccupied with the details.
Grocery lists, vacation plans.
This month’s bills. Dishes and laundry.
Invitations accepted and
regretted. Hammer on new additions.
In time’s abundance, never
noticing the balance has finally tipped.

We grow old without meaning to.

Some Mornings I Wake Older

Some mornings I wake older
than I actually am.
My body’s aches a sneak preview
of what is to come.
Not long ago, sprinting for home
to avoid a cloudburst,
I felt the weight of the decades
drop away as I flew.
Time might know the exact count
a heart will beat,
even so, its hour glass can be
turned upside down.
Or so I was reminded last night
when a cautious sixty-
four year old boarded a swing,
only to be replaced
by a laughing child pumping
to reach the sky.
Even if I’m dressed by age as
as I creakily arise,
life’s great gift is that seasons
surely do co-exist.
My body a card deck waiting
to be shuffled,
some mornings I wake older
than I actually am.
The boy inside me the Joker.

Bike Trail

Scorched by a bone-dry August,
a dust plume blooms
in constant pursuit behind you.
Autumn has already
left its calling card: the weeds
singed a rusty orange.
The frantic spiders have begun
to curtain the spaces
in between with their flung webs.
After so many summer
rides you know every curve and
dip, become immune
to breathlessness on rising hills.
On this gravel path
there are only two directions,
but nonetheless,
both still carry a person forward.
Whether coming
or going, no matter the season,
you’re in transit
against time’s opposing wind.

After The Party

What kind of party was this, with the last guest
tendering goodbyes before midnight?
Thirty years ago, the gathering would have been
just beginning to annoy the neighbors.
Still, confronting the jumble of dirty plates and
the dregs left in these sticky glasses,
it’s grungy enough to have been a loud success.
Finally beginning to feel the alcohol,
I snuff the candles and settle on the dark porch.
There’s no moon to welcome the arrival
of another day, no church bells’ chime to mark
this solemn changing of the guard.
Seconds later, the transition seems seamless.
A week ago, September arrived hot
as August, but tonight, I feel winter’s approach
like a bad cold; now we can only hope
a feeble Indian Summer delays the inevitable.
The last time that I paid attention,
fireflies still generated their own electricity,
flaming like matches in the hedges.
The chill has extinguished all but the crickets.
Sizing up the dark, I burrow deeper into
a sweater and savor their off-key symphony.

Alone with the remains of the season,
I’m in no hurry to begin tidying up the mess.

Ballad Of An Early Riser

Time has its own internal clock,
speeding ahead or slowing,
dictated by the gravitational tug
of mood and circumstance,
and, as every early bird knows,
it is less attentive when
the earth seems poised motionless
between a maze of stars
and day’s first inquisitive song.

Again, I tiptoe down the stairs
so as not to disturb that
great bird into startled flight,
in hopes of discovering,
before a dormant breeze stirs
dawn’s first faint blush
with the rushed whirr of wings,
an enchanted moment,
reluctant to welcome the next.