Maybe I Always Knew

Photo by Zhang

This has been the way of the world
since atoms first exploded
galaxies unfolded
and light grew

Though I didn’t know it

A baby wails, all red and wet
Seasons roll by, and
she grows from a tiny bud
into a strong tree

Though one day her time will come

The creeping awareness
of my mortality finds me
as I nurse my own child
my mind a whiteout from exhaustion

Maybe I always knew

Time is short, and
death is near
I buried the thought
within the folds of innocence

I have begun, I know,
to peel like the paint from an old boat

I will bind my wisdom
within my thorny heart
hide it from my child
lest idealism fades too soon

She should not yet know
the bittersweet taste I have found

The highs and the lows
of feeling and experience
that make our lives
so full and deep

But I know and I see

in my grandmother’s curled fingers
and the ghosts in her milky eyes
that the sands continue
their unrelenting fall through the hourglass


Back to blog