It's About Time

by Jeanne Howe

It’s not that anything goes, as some may wish.

Everything goes,
like it or not,
in the irrevocable, unrelenting passage of time.
Going… going. . . .

Time writes a plot of its own,   
     composes, erases, rewrites, decomposes.
Shakes things.                        
     Bre/-aks things—hopes,
                                                 plans, dreams,
          now and then you.

                              Me too.

Oh, but wait a minute.
The plot thickens:
There is still time!

Every end is a new beginning.
Every day is the afterlife.

Time’s cast-down broken bits become art supplies.
Building materials.
Just look at yourself:
Taller since having to stand on your own, alone.
Strengthened by the exercise of saying goodbye.
More confident after getting back up from falling.
Liberated, lightened by your losses.

Me too.
So let’s get going.

In time, going, going gets where it’s going
and takes us to what
we think is
our final destination.

It isn’t.
The mess of leftovers scattered behind us
 will nurture things we may not know exist,
even things that can’t exist until we leave 
          our lessons, notebooks, sketchbooks, DNA,
failures and start-overs,          
achievements, resentments,
sorrows, laughter,   
neediness,    
pain and healing (or not),
our . . .
fill in the blank
or leave it for time to take care of when,
at least, at last,
we get out of the way.

But for now
there is still time.
Let’s get going.

Jeanne Howe has been a student and practitioner of writing poetry and fiction since retiring as a registered nurse and college teacher. Of the poem printed here she says: “This piece reflects my ongoing absorption with the fall-down-and-be-rebuilt phenomenon so abundant along the Irish west coast where a pre-famine village has been rebuilt from its fallen original stones into the Cill Rialaig International Artists’ Retreat.