A Timely Presence: one of three homages to Emily Dickinson


A Timely Presence

The past is summers come and gone,
sweet, ripening, and brightly shining;
the future is springs yet to be,
resplendent with hope for all things;
the present is winter—
stark and unromantic,
softened not by time and memory.

The past is black and white in sepia,
carved in stone, its edges starting to turn;
the future is colorful, but mottled,
like raindrops on a windshield,
for it is constantly changing,
because of the decisions we make today.
The present is somewhere in between—
its edges crisp and clean,
precious as a snowflake,
for it lasts but a second,
and then it melts away.

I run from the past,
only to run into the future,
past all the wonders of today–
wonders more real than tomorrow’s or yesterday’s.

As our past gets longer,
our future gets shorter,
but the present is always there—
meeting the future,
fleeing the past,
but never quite able to,
for it follows one everywhere.

Life is not a line,
but a circle,
life and death connecting–
no doors,
only walls of mirrors reflecting.


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