Image: Unsplash, downloaded (https://unsplash.com/photos/-CaJIE1MiA4) 29.07.2023.
If you ask me why I left Michigan, I would tell that you that it wasn’t because
Of the weather which left me with a bloated album of waiting for the blackouts to skip between the trees. It wasn’t because the roofs unfurled and the doors retreated to hollows
somewhere in the sky. It wasn’t because of the shelves of water, inching like new constellations across an endless night. It was the full circle of fear, the kind that stays in my mouth
like neon jawbreakers, refusing to surrender, tailor-made to dislocate words that I try to speak. I dread colliding against this familiar: when the memory gathers like burning hands around your throat.
Thoughts of a life that’s as complicated as everyone else’s,
struggling for balance, juggling time.
The mantle clock that was my grandfather’s has stopped at 9:20; we haven’t had time
to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still, the chimes don’t ring.
One day you look out the
window, green summer, the next, and the leaves have already fallen,
and a grey sky lowers the horizon. Our children almost grown,
our parents gone, it happened so fast. Each day, we must learn
again how to love, between morning’s quick coffee and evening’s
slow return. Steam from a pot of soup
rises, mixing with the yeasty smell of baking bread. Our bodies
twine, and the big black dog pushes his great head between;
his tail is a metronome, 3/4 time. We’ll never get there,
Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging
us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,
sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh
of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up in love, running out of time.
About the Author: John Kucera was educated at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in New Reader Magazine, The Sandy River Review, Connections Magazine and Friends Journal. He lives in Arizona, where he writes and teaches.