Time After Time

a diner coffee cup, white knuckle-white, the
flock of Trumpeter Swans at rest in the pasture—in-
exorable March wind, & Thorn Creek rippling

black thru the culvert & willow limbs gone
orange in February snow—a phone booth in
Vacaville, now this was a different time, palm tree

nodding in hot May streetlight evening—a
block of time, a mental block, the glass ashtray
choked with Marlboros—a pile of corrugated

north of the garden, the cock pheasant
pecks for grit in the road by the derelict ranch, the
Saxton River’s brown trout swirl, the

phrase from a song repeating—inexorable—a
white house brimming with roses but only in
memory—the grandfather clock’s

movement weighted with lead, a magnolia
blossom adrift on the back lawn—a color
photograph in which we are all present

Jack Hayes
© 2011