A man becomes a place As his work Is woven into the fabric Of its life. So many places I've left behind, So many ghosts Tread the paths I once held dear. Some I left Because it was only natural That I did. Grammer school-- Its days of sun and wonder, Its Weekly Readers And history books and lists Of spelling words Gave way to higher, Richer paths of knowledge bright. Then, high school's Changing classes, boisterous halls And weary regimen Passed, to yield to college. Despite its turmoil, Its despondency, its grinding hours Spent in tiresome concentration, Academia was a happy place Filled with many a smiling face And laced from dawn to dusk With piercing, questing thought. In its beginning The four year span Seemed long indeed; Too wide a gulf ever To imagine stepping over. But looking back, It was but a twinkling, Gone forever in a flash, Now only a memory. Nor was graduate school Any more or less, For it too Passed noiselessly, unnoticed Until it was gone. So came at last The real world of work, The eight-to-five, The daily grind. But even this, Stable though it seemed, Proved fragile and evanescent. Life is strange, Or perception makes it so. The present moment Stands firm and immutable, Clearly in one's grasp. But the slightest glance To either side Reveals both past and future Rushing swiftly In their appointed ways With awesome speed. Or is All Time steady, Rock-firm and fixed, While my consciousness moves Over it, scanning Each moment like the pages Of a book? Does it matter, Save to philosophers and theologists? What is past Cannot be held again. What is still to come Rarely ever can be glimpsed. We are left In any case Helpless, lost, alone.
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