Time

Time has washed our faces, our lives

We bear its crags and gullies;

Our eyes are bright then empty;

Our step is joyous then halting

And always it beats: it is the slow clock,

The hours in a hospital room

Waiting for the worst news;

It is the rush of the sea – thrilling one minute,

A drain on the spirit next.

It seeks us in the long nights

Where we toss and worry; imagine

The worst to see fears fade in the sun.

It is the low serenity of Nina Simone

Who wonders, as we all wonder,

Where the time goes; we see it

Escape in decades of tumult,

The joyous and sad Christmases

Where we wish once more for the crepe

Hand of a grandmother; the spilling

Sunshine laughter of a gone-too-soon child,

And we wonder, if our time is coming.

We are reminded as we see a frail frame

Struggle for breath; see the thin arms,

The face draw in and we know – we all know.

So we mark time, thinking, thinking,

And it takes no heed: it marches, and

Then we see it on our own face,

The little signs, and we press closer to see

That it is almost too late,

That the song has almost played out

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3 thoughts on “Time”

  1. ‘We bear its crags and gullies’, thrilling description, John, perfect ‘catch’ of the feeling. Powerful and sobering, those details too, the ‘crepe hand’, oh how easily it’s torn, the ‘spilling sunshine laughter’, how it sparkles!

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