by Ashley Warren

I hold her by the elbow,
her small feet shuffling, angst
and fear all over her.
She grips my hand tight
and I see her fingers have turned
a new shade of purple. Her fingernails
are still long with a sharp tip
and I imagine them young
and trimmed, ivory
skin and knuckles at peace.

It’s a new kind of eternity—
helping her walk a slick sidewalk.
From now on, everything
will slow down. Brushing
her teeth will take hours
in no time.
And this makes me panic.
If one has already lived
a hard life,
what does that make this?…

a new kind of eternity
when the speed of days
stops flashing and everything
that was once simple or plastic
or painless holds more power
than you.

If it were me,
I’d try to remember many things
like music
and eagles
and silhouettes.

If it were me,
I’d try to run.
And I’d scream and fall.
I’d scratch at the earth
and at all the simple plastic things
I couldn’t make work.

Related Posts