They tried to order Time dawn to dusk,
Futile spreadsheets of manageable units,
Denying its nature to slow, to speed
To pause, to fly with thoughts, dreams,
Friends met, enemies loathed,
With pain and agony and anxiety,
With pleasure, gaiety,
With visions, prophecies, with
Feckless Fraud found out.
Ordered like railway ties
Clacking underneath our passing carriage
Carrying us toward the illusion,
Of rails merging beyond the horizon,
Combining before and after,
In front and behind our journey.
And We passalong the tracks, the self-same tracks
That transported circus animals to towns of laughing children,
And carried the Jews to the ovens
And passed in front of Einstein,
Standing on the platform,
And locked in our box cars through the slats we see
Tree limbs encased in ice, white
The beauty of the morning, breaking, falling,
The ache beyond our finger’s reach,
That we will never touch or hold,
Not for us to possess, to savor, to hoard.
Order beckons us away from the wide moment,
The joy of girls laughing,
The approval of a wife’s smile,
The grief of a widow,
Order leaves behind the town, back before crowds,
Bare feet skipping between the sticker burs,
Curbs free of cars up in the work day
Young boys delighted to run an errand,
The touch of smooth porcelain,
Birds chasing rabbits in the meadow
And the singing, singing, singing as we lament.
Sad, time will be there tomorrow, somewhere,
And was there, somewhere just yesterday
As we ride away, and disappear chasing the illusion
Of separate tracks merging beyond the hill.
And worst of all, unordered, Time quietly resolves,
Barely felt, it ends the longing, desire, ambition, hope,
the possibilities, When it ends, it ends
The dagger in the back of the Prince,
The speech of a President sending the nation to war,
A bullet in the chest of a Mother’s son,
The Preacher on Christ’s divinity, on God’s wrath, on God’s grace
The assassin’s bullet shattering the brain of his better, of our better,
The desperate search for a lost child,
Wandered off or taken?
Murdered by a Father or a Father’s mistress?
Getting lost in a picture of Micky Mantle
His halting, haunting, lumbering gait rounding the bases,
Country strong, country smile, innocent and lethal
Having a drink with his own nightmares,
A Father’s teaching,
A brother’s perfidy,
A sister’s betrayal,
A mother’s slap,
A daughter’s laugh, tickled, unrestrained,
A granddaughter’s tear, as life impinges on her innocence.
Our tear as she looks away from the horizon
Where the tracks maybe just might merge and stands shyly watching
The boy serving hamburgers and sodas at the counter.