Promissory Note
A Villanelle

by Alida Woods

Time is our currency, so they say.
It spends in hours and hours of sand
and slips as water with the day.

Shadows in the twilight make away
receding on this black and silent land.
Time is tender, so they say.

Soft yellow slides across the bay.
The marshes in sun’s new light are fanned.
Light slips away like water into day.

By noon the light is in full play,
racing, slipping out of hand.
Time is our currency, they say.

Full circle at the end of day
light falters, chimeric, panned
and slips like water with the day.

How can we spend what cannot stay?
All gold, intangible, in our hand.
Time is like money, so they say.
It slips, it slips, it slips away.

Alida Woods retired from the North Carolina public schools, where, as a teacher and principal, she enjoyed helping children find their voices through writing. Her own voice has emerged as she has found more time to write. Her poems have appeared in Front Porch, Westward Quarterly, and Avocet. She is grateful for the writing community in Asheville.

About Promissory Note—The villanelle form, while difficult, helped me capture the unfolding morning over the marshes on the Westport River. As the sun swept over the grasses at dawn, time seemed to flee into daylight.