The Inevitability of Time

Christmas, 2002 / No. 9

The summer is half over and the brilliant people have gone,

The city is emptied of all its change,

Spent on festivals of food and clothes,

And great winged birds hover over the lake.

Something too far away to see is beckoning.

You feel it in your guts.

It is the feeling you get when your mother cannot carry you anymore

Or when being told you’re too old for certain toys.

I can sit down and look at your face now,

Before I saw my own reflection in it and thought it was beautiful.

The knives and forks will be used again and again,

And your laughter cuts through the tedium.

Beyond the lake and the sad-looking buildings

The world is ready to change.

Soon it will be orange and red and gold.

The autumn will come to us on a river, pouring out its death, leaving boulders along the way.

This odd struck time before the cold, before the end

Of summer is our gracious moment.

Holding hands, we buy fish and eat it on the roof and you give me a sweater to wear, the twilight casting shadows in our eyes.

Victoria Ward is a painter and writer living in Haliburton County, Ontario. Her first published work appeared in the Christmas, 2002, issue of Taddle Creek. Last updated Christmas, 2002.