Tethered By Time

Tethered by Time

 What does the mirror’s stare, its careful reflection, speak to you?


A mirror’s glancing back

at ME.


I scan the clock.

In its reflection, 4:30 reads 8:30,

or does it say half past seven?


The mirror is staring at me, but I can’t stare back through it.

I stand and track the reversal of time that takes me back to

the late evening warmth and moonlit zephyrs of stolen hope.


The sun on the cusp of the horizon says

It’s morning.

And the birds in their chambers of

ruffled feathers echo

their songs on the

telephone line

that tells of the chirping time.


The morning call at three.

The mirror perched at nine.


A day begins, four hours before its due.

I saunter into the bathroom trailed only by

my haunting shadow.

The mirror reveals gray hairs lining

up on the crown of my head.

The fading brunettes of a prime lost to

time as regret stares back






Oh why does that mirror stare at me so?

Revealing my weakness, and ergo, my ego?


The thumping in my chest refuses to cease

and I wish for the alarm to blare on



Reminding that I woke too early,

but I am still too late for



It will not sound. Not on a day like today

when the mirror mocks my soft, white grays.

The creases in my forehead breathe into corners of my eyes

Pockets pressured by time.

Wary am I to remember this woman,

Of course, dear mirror, it can’t be I!


4:35 or 8:35 and twelve seconds says the clock.

I have lost four hours to sleep.

What revelation.

What disdain we must have for the chore that makes us



Wake up with wrinkles.

Wake up with shock.

Wake up with a souvenir to say –

We never stopped the



Time won’t let me control it

Nor tell it when to start or stop.

It ticks, it tocks, ever the clock.

4:39 is nearly quarter to nine o’clock.


Round and round we

program the clock.

To unify schedules –

To count.

To wait.

To listen.

To watch.


To shame the clock for its reticent pace

And to aggravate the clock when it’s too slow for our race.


This life we conceive through

Minutes and seconds

Hours and days

of wasting away.


To hate the clock for its unfailing beat

To tame the clock as time evaporates underneath our feet.

To borrow the clock when we’ve lost our way

And to disregard the clock when we are too early or too late.


I have to do it all

I have to be the best

Slow down the clock for

this mind needs solemn rest.


I see past the anchor of the daily alarm,

A place I wish to be –


If only I knew I would lose every moment in facing uncertain



I long for more time and fail to quell the nobility of



But to race the clock with blinders is folly.


The partition of my door says, “Get out and take the world!”

It’s ten to five, it’s ten to nine,

I am still here wondering, lost in the moments of fleeting time.


In the end the clock will win for its steady state of

Enduring movement, killing off the



While I will lose because I cannot

control its will to kill the seconds that turn my svelte shadow amorphous.

Time will ever control me, it will ever beat me down and

Take me out long before I reach the destiny of slowing down.


The time.


Now it’s 5:00 or is it really ten past nine?

The mirror looks on and smiles as I threaten to

stop the time.

Stop the madness.

Stop the tranquil ticking,

seconds passing,

life is drained by



Help for now or

Help for then

Help for when I thought the time would tell the mirror to

look away and tell me I have another day

To wash away the wrinkles and to comb away the grays.


Crumbling frustration.

We can’t turn back the time.


Tethered to the cadence

At four o’clock or eight

At three o’clock or nine.

The tethered cadence laughing

This beat we keep called time.


Six hours yet but lost to sleep –

To sleep and drifting time.

Hours never once returned

Hours fading to the end

Seconds, minutes, hours, days,

Placated by the coming grays….

Seconds, minutes, hours, days,

Achieved failure, the mirror stares –

At last it has come my way.


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