Back She Turns

— Harry Lafnear

“Men talk of killing time . . .”
     — Dion Boucicault

We say of Time
That she runs and races,
Flees and flies,
A wild thing:
A skittish horse
Or a wary bird
Shocked by the notion
That in being wanted
She should be obliged to stay.

But any hesitation is wishful.
What we might take for sympathy
And call our deepening lives
Is merely her recognition
Of how badly we are mired
In our mortality.
And Time, a stalking cat
With a sparrow painted
On her flitting tongue,
Merely keeps us in her sight
Until the moment we forget
Her grand and gracious jaws.

One thought on “Back She Turns

  1. "Or a wary bird shocked by the notion that in being wanted she should be obliged to stay" and "a stalking cat with a sparrow painted on her flitting tongue"—you blow me away, Harry, shrewd thought imputed to each animal, and each in turn a metaphor for time—the layered density in apparent simplicity, beguiling brevity . . . time was never so well used, so well feted.

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