Today's poem is by Rebecca Lehmann

Time Traveler

In the cavern I hung ropes,
knotted in increments to signal
danger or wild birds or heartbreak.
Thin was the tallow for the candles,
the flickers of wicks a phantasm
against the grotto walls.
The runaway notion of time
is gendered, performatively, male.
But over the embankment,
through the sumac blind,
the wind blew nanoseconds
across the gently rolled grasslands.
One rope knotted to mean unexpected
I left a mile out,
hung from a slippery elm overgrowing
the abandoned light-rail tracks.
Another, melancholia. Another,
nightingale. Cast iron instruments
clanged sideward in my satchel,
and against the reified
walls of the cave, from hook
and cranny. And was I looking?
Was I folding paper squares
into cranes to float down the creek
to the main outpost? Did I sharpen
my phallic knife against a stone?
I called the connecting coil purpose.
I checked my calibrations.
My falsetto hopes carried no guarantee.
There was the child, and then
there was the idea of the child.
Time sprung like a mad arch
of vectors from a single point.
Like a wild steed, it mounted
the horizon. I radioed niner and Charlie
and mellifluence and the forest rose up,
leaf-strong, then melted out of scope.

Copyright © 2014 Rebecca Lehmann All rights reserved
from The Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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