Wednesday, October 16, 2019

OctPoWrMo #16: Father Time

On a small patio made of stone, blue sky above, 
I turned my tricycle into another circle,
my baby sister watching me.
Did we have any sense of time? Maybe bedtime.
When was mother coming home?

Dark. Alone with my sister. Something fell on the bed and then
another something scrabbled towards us.
We ran out of the small room, screaming.
Police cars filled the parking lot, red and blue lights flashing,
and then mother came, running down the street to the motel,
talking to the officers, and talking. We were together again.

For my 16th birthday, she took me to the nightclub
where she worked. The band played
for a long time before we went home.

Another afternoon, I was driving her home.
She wanted to stop for a drink, and I said no.
I was old enough to say no by then.
She opened the door of the car to step out,
pavement moving beneath us; her foot moving down.
I stopped the car. I let her go.

She died when I was long gone from home,
as far away as I could get, until that phone call.
Went fishing, they said, we was just fishing
there by the rocks, up on that cliff
by the ocean. A wave came, and she fell,
fell into the water. The waves took her away.

All these memories drift into words on a page,
leaves in a closed book, long past over.
Time shifts, even so. I cherish each decade
since I met you, the life we’ve built,
our world a little smaller,
the doors now closing.

Wintertime (Pixabay)
Tomorrow's prompt: Family.

You can visit OctPoWriMo at to read what others have written. Thank you, Morgan Dragonwillow, Michelle Vecchitto, Esther Jones, and Maria L. Berg for hosting this month-long poetry challenge.


  1. Beautiful ending stanza, Beth.

  2. Thank you, Jade. Maybe there's healing in just saying what once was -- and letting go. But today's poem (re clones) brings lightness. It's raining outside, but a lovely day ahead.