1. Spring Forward
The government’s at it again, tampering time
and we must stagger behind, wishing Salvador Dali
minutes would lag instead of broad-jump.
April, the month of taxes and poetry. Light
trails us like a street urchin dragging his bags.
We are thanked for our gifts to government with jet-lag
and loss of easeful dark, pumped with big-top minutes
and forward-swapped. But where do they keep
the acrobat hour? I find in my purse
only shadows and stars.
I imagine that Congress stashes that saved hour
in a teak box with mother-of-pearl stars
and blue satin lining. Or a big penny jar
shaped like a trumpeting elephant, the lock
in his upraised trunk. But too many of us
have a key, for every fall we find it looted
and empty as the bank for sale I once saw.
The silver-hinged vault lay open for deposits of dust.
Ghost hours danced in that twilight mouth.
I can't put my overtime in anything so wide
or keep my worries in such an open box.
3. Fall Back
When skeletons dance and red devil leaves seesaw,
the clock spins backwards. Spring forward, fall back,
I repeat to timepieces whose hands I wring.
The powers-that-save loose a phantom hour
to imp my dreams. Afternoons are still-life,
a hummingbird’s whirring immobility.
I see now why we must hoard every spark
against twilight's snip-end, against the dark
dot of a question mark.