March 19

And so it turns out

Like so much else

Time, too, is a fiction

“Spring forward!”

They say

And we reply

“Fall backward!”

As together we change the batteries

And remake the days to suit the seasons of sleep.

But mostly we forget.

Has it really been … years?

It was sort of on the news back then.

We watched the flicker of shadows

On the walls of our caves

Sometimes thumbnail pictures of the martyrs

Appeared on A19.

But we don’t call them martyrs

That’s what they do.

Later we told each other stories of healing, redemption and Surge.

Gradually, the procession of heroes came to a halt

The parade was over

We bade farewell to Walter Reed

And drove back across Memorial Bridge

As if that was “it”

As if it was “done”

As if time was a thread

That we cut and tied off

As we finished our stitching.

Some regrets, maybe.

Like never learning that terp’s real name.

Like never having the chance to converse with a native

Without the gun in our hand.

And other things.

Things we’ve forgotten.

Like dropping a stitch and having to start all over again,

One more time.

Or that time we forgot to change the batteries in the smoke alarm

And it went off at 3AM.