STANLEY PACION (Chicago, Illinois USA)
21: 59, Time Flies
So the ancient adage goes.
But it prompts me to say,
Hey Virgil, this is stupid stuff,
Because for me at home alone
The clock has stopped.
Then, when I take another glance,
I realize from the timepiece's face
That I had been mistaken, my impression wrong.
There has been some activity.
The clock's hands have apparently moved.
Yet far from time fleeting,
The hours drag, even the second hand -
Its motion becomes imperceptibly slow,
When you are gone and
Day and night must be faced alone.
And you write to me and say that before long
You will return home. You declare that
Less than three weeks remain,
Soon, you add, your absence today turns to memory,
And confidently profess, 'time really does fly! '
But for me, however you may try to comfort me,
Your consolation, it does nothing to hasten the hours!
When I hear the clock, note the spaces
Between its regular tick-to-tock, those intervals,
They appear as if they were eternity, and your absence
- Your face no longer upon your pillow,
Your body missing from your side of the bed -
You, you seem now to have been gone forever.
I know. I know. You suppose that I exaggerate!
Yet I am not acclimated to them,
These phenomena of your leaving,
Your terrible disappearances for the sake of business,
These separations, I may never become used to them.
You were reared different from me.
When you were still a child,
Your father was a frequent traveler;
You became habituated to the longing,
And you learned to practice
The ruse which had told your inner self that
He will be home before you know it.
I can hear you and your mother practicing the phrase,
When dad was gone and you two sat at home alone,
'Oh the days go by so fast! '
The electronic image of time before me
(to the bottom-right on the computer screen)
Its numbers read 21: 59.
It sits. It waits. Woman, Darling!
Woman! Can't you see what you have done to me!
My condition is desperate.
The clock no longer runs.
For me here languishing without you
Time stops, and my life suspended,
My daydreaming becomes nightmare.
The universe endlessly expanding,
With its boundary beacons actually accelerating,
Points of light at outermost fabric of space/time,
Increasing speed, faster and faster, and distancing apart,
Separately hastening from one star-light point to another,
All of them at once farther and farther from the other,
Each spot, incredible luminosity endlessly hurling,
At quickening pace, ever hurrying and hurrying,
Scurrying to extend, stretching
The cosmos, picking up speed at the edge of empty space,
How would I ever hope to expect the bright of your eyes
To bridge the black night,
Where time slips into nothingness,
And the law of gravity no longer applies,
Every principle of attraction confounded.
Me having seen your face in every flower,
My longing here for you
Mean nothing when all spheres turn to final ice,
All moment gone, all hope forlorn
The electronic numbers of my computer clock,
Still sit here and read 21: 59.
Comments about this poem (21: 59, Time Flies by STANLEY PACION )
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