Tempus Fugit

By Rosanna Warren

Yesterday, at twilight, a citron sky and bruised, high-toiling clouds.
The brook rattled over the same old stones like a woman too practiced in conversation.
I walked the dirt road alone, the road I have taken since childhood,
and I tried to hear, between the words, what the brook might really be saying.
What was the fear in this woman beneath her relentless talk?
I couldn’t translate. Loggers had cut a new gnash among the beeches and white pines.
The sky had rain on its mind. You were waiting for me
at home. These days I am reading a poet
of wounds, of stones, of fire and ice and other forms of pain.
I take notes about time flying, that is what the poems
keep discovering. Time flies. I write it down in Latin.
That settles the matter till I take another walk
and the sky builds up again, and Pernod light trickles down among the boughs.

Rosanna Warren teaches comparative literature at Boston University. Her most recent book of poems is Departure, from W. W. Norton.

Please follow our Commentary Guidelines when engaging in discussion on this site.