Time is not a grey house, settled on its foundation,
Like a father penguin, brooding over his egg, feathered
And iced, or its bare windows looking onto the car-pocked
Cul-de-sac. Neither is it the local duck pond, where birds
Paddle algae, scoop, throat, and swallow. Time is not fenced
Or leashed, cuddled in a tiny bag with open, silver clasps.
No, time is a child’s fists gripping the jungle gym, swinging
Torso and legs across a pit of sand, where squirrels play
And magpies peck; no crocodiles yet, wait for the age’s end.
Time is a wheel on a semi delivering coffee and donut holes
To the chainstore, where customers wait, half-hearted and
Bleary-eyed, to start another day, tapping fingers against
Change. Time is my body passing cracks in the sidewalk,
And if energy were noise, I would move like a hurdy-gurdy,
Louder than the infrequent ambulance siren, carnival barker,
Organ player, calliope on a flatbed, neighborhood alarm,
Jukebox, serenade of lovers kissing at the mailbox.
Time is a barrel of leaves deteriorating in garage heat,
With the stink of pizza boxes, dirty tissues, rotting peels