A Human Construct

I once took time
by the burning of a cigarette;
ash fell in lieu of sand to fill my hourglass.
The immortality of youth led me to
scoff through my coughing as
I would joke of my
elongated suicide.

I kept time in the hours between
classes and marching band practice;
wasting my wonder at why I
seemed to have such a hard time while
all my my friends around found
lovers like their lives depended on it.

Time stayed at bay while I
lazed laconic in my indecision.
“If only”
would be the epitaph
upon my tombstone.

But I no longer
track time’s passing as I once did;
I measure it by
the length of songs that soothe and
ease my muddled mind.
They comfort me through my meandering;
though they still tend to taunt in
their ability to
restart, to
rewind.

by Erik Shinker

A Song for Marilyn and George

Grandparents seem to fall into one of two distinct groups: they can be unknowable entities that we are forced to visit through obligation; shriveled creatures who seemingly live on another plane of existence as relics of times gone by. Or, they can be loving mentors that support us and willingly give sage advice; human teddy bears who want to see us succeed in life and look forward to our accomplishments. I have been lucky enough to have the second type on both sides of my family. My maternal grandparents are still living to this day; this is my remembrance and tribute to the two no longer with us.

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