Sandra Kohler, “On Time”

orange line

On Time


Where did the morning go? The morning
went where it was supposed to, a child
obediently lining up in the schoolyard,
a car nosing into changed lane patterns,
falling water coursing down a hillside,
over stone, bony outcroppings, rich soil
inscribed by its vein of icy brilliance.


Writing to a friend, I tell her I keep circling
around and around death, my husband’s,
mine, stopping, resting, temporarily landing
in different places. Like the leaf I see today
in the yard, a single yellow leaf, floating
down like a parachute from high in one
treetop, a comma of a leaf, a comment.


In the three years and three months of
my grandchildren’s lives, time has created
two consciousnesses, two new worlds.
Still, the being each child was a year ago
is already lost, vanished. Ruthless and
slaying, time destroys these children,
recreates them, tender and growing.


Sandra Kohler’s third collection of poems, Improbable Music, (Word Press) appeared in May 2011. Earlier collections are The Country of Women (Calyx, 1995) and The Ceremonies of Longing (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003). Her poems have appeared recently in Beloit Poetry Journal, Notre Dame Review, Damfino, and Clementine Poetry Journal.


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