Today's poem is by James Heflin

Light Speed

He fashioned a telescope one day. He turned knobs and
adjusted apertures until through the lens he saw another man
come into focus, bent over, at work on his own scope. Soon,
the other paused to enjoy a bologna sandwich, and a drop of
mayonnaise squeezed onto his shirt.

That shirt — bottle green, with pockets — was the same one he
himself had ruined with a drop of mayonnaise the year before.
Light speed, he realized.

Did this man, who owned his shirt, ate his bologna sandwich,
and fiddled with the knobs of a scope, did he know that these
things had already been done, that he rehearsed a play already
performed? Would he just go on munching cold cuts? What
would the other man see when his distant cousin no longer sat
down to gaze?

But that would be all wrong, he thought. The other man would
look into his scope and see an even younger man. And that
younger man would see a boy. The boy, he thought, should
never press his eye against the cold ring of the eyepiece.

Copyright © 2017 James Heflin All rights reserved
from Krakatoa Picnic
Hedgerow Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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