Time Tock

Time, a maniac scattering dust.
  —Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

You keep track of it like a wandering child
who will not sleep—but it expands—fabric
mesh breathing in hydrogen, an expansion
of warped lung, pink-fleshed like rose petals
that last a day, or the tongue of a centurion
Galapagos tortoise. Years are a bedspread
to you, measured only by threads between
cottons and un-corded wool; tiny fast stitches
surged to lazy, ruminating loose ends. Watch
what you spend of it, make of it, or fritter away
with it—your metal throat may rust as you swallow
myths and once upon a jackknife in the fork
of your contracting, slicked out, clock-less road
till your belly’s covered in a gray-bearded territory
of moss-covered doors, and you irascibly discover
generations of us fell asleep at the wheel.

Judith Roney has taught writing workshops for adults challenged by mental illness in conjunction with the University of Central Florida’s Literary Arts Partnership. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in: Nonbinary Review, Steam Ticket, Foothill: A Journal of Poetry, Gambling the Aisle, Third Wednesday as well as other publications. She confesses to an obsession with the archaic and misunderstood, dead relatives, and collects vintage religious artifacts and creepy dolls. http://www.judithroney.com