Upon Time: a poem


Illustrated by Ruaa Labanieh

Staff Writer

Once upon a world,

we smiled with our eyes,

and laughed with our bellies,

before the hands of the clock were worn with age,

before the bells stopped chiming,

before the batteries ran out.


Time is the thief who stole

our mother’s everlasting compassion,

our father’s undying love.


The crook who took

her from him,

him from her.


The pickpocket

who left us all alone,

searching through the pouches

of our empty lives,

stumbling drunkenly

through dark days.

He watched us finally drown

right before the clock chimed


We held on to memory,

saved in the yellowing pages of,

water-damaged journals.

We had frantically scribbled our legacy

before blowing out candle after candle for years.


We gripped on to emotions,

with the music of star-crossed lovers

and true love’s kiss,

the ones we imitated in vain.


Time is the teacher

who suddenly pushed me off the edge of a cliff,

when I was too afraid to fly.