In Ordinary Time

For thirty years, I held
a picture of you
to my mirror,
transforming memory
to belief.
Kept colors, a complex pattern
of assumed identity, explained your place
in my history.

But time passed for you
without me as witness.
I didn’t see the slow distortion,
the twisted dissonance
of what you have become.
Of empathy’s slow disintegration.

Here in Ordinary Time,
I’ve been presented
a sad duty: to trim away
what has died, what is superfluous,
vestigial. It will damage
what I think I am, what I was.
But it must be done.
You have become a thing of harm.

As this small treasure diminishes,
the one that I held for so long,
a mid-winter moon looms above,
alive, that captive stranger,
bent to its work,
loosening the sky of its seeds,
falling. Another falling
has occurred.

And so, I let you go.
I relinquish you
to the void of lost stories,
to the sibilance of a hard rain.

Carolyn Adams’ poetry and art have appeared in Steam Ticket, Aji Magazine, Topology, Change Seven Magazine, and Beatnik Cowboy, among others. She is the author of four chapbooks, and has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, as well as for Best of the Net. Read other articles by Carolyn.