ten minutes

I watched the fire die out this morning

and thought of those mornings of waking early

to clean the shoes for those who slept in the house

blowing on my fingers to warm the knuckles.

I walked out of the house into the sharp cold to watch a train

move slowly

along silver frozen tracks.

It moved like steam in the mists of snow,

slowly, slowly but unstoppable.

That night, years ago, when we went to hear him sing

and he sang so well.

I’m going back to hear him sing now,

with his tired, choked throat that can never be cleared.

Ten minutes!

she called

I turned partly, nodded and turned back.

Ten minutes, ten sixty second periods.

no time at all.

How many sixty second periods in a life?

No time at all.

 

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