My son defines time—its river, not its measure—
as the way one event changes into another.
I am letting what my son knows of time
climb and turn a laddered wheel in my mind.
I am letting the river run the mill that changes
one kind of unknowing into another.
Once a student told me that her mother kept
vases of flowers long past their prime.
She thought them still beautiful, wizened tulips,
their petals knuckling into pecans.
I read that the moon is rusting. Here on earth
a breeze kicked up by passing cars
fans a dead katydid. Invisible thumbs shuffle
her wings’ gauzy underthings.
One event is turning into another. My son grows
tall but is still young enough to trail
a hand, offhandedly, in the current that carries him.
There is so little we can demand of time
but I would ask to be like a tulip, like a katydid,
like the henna-chinned moon:
one of those who, done or undone, changes next
into another kind of wonder.
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