Now Past Prime
by Carol Hamilton

I just opened the zip lock bag
of green beans she snapped
and gave to us. I cooked
the fresh beans with butter
and garlic bread crumbs, but the rest
of them are ready for the compost bin.
My coffee grounds and egg shells
find their best places to live on, too.

A swamp woman on TV last night
looked back at her young self,
recognized her as distant kin.
I, too, meet my photographed doppelgänger.
Sometimes I try to talk to her,
tell her to be content and happy.
But we can't tell the young anything.

The swamp lady loves her memories,
cherishes her now. She and I could
have had now then ...
or does that joy come only
when the future is foreshortened
and everything happens in present tense?
The high school band will begin
7:00 a.m. practice on Wednesday.
Their music will drift over my yard,
spread its notes, clear and melancholy,
sing to my joy-full and now moment.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

Copyright © by Dallas Poets Community. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.