School vacation in summer seemed a thousand ages long–
and still too short, the seventy days of freewheeling time.
Now I’m an ant crawling the wall. Inches below increase
as those above me decrease. I can see my ceiling of time.
Is time a lake where I cast for darting, silver whips of fish,
each glinting wish, a catch-and-release in unreeling time?
Or is it a channel to swim–warm, broad and buoyant?
Around the bend, a shoal is a perilous feeling of time.
“Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away…
They fly forgotten, as a dream,” I sing in bell-pealing time.
Breaths may number three quarters of a billion in a lifetime.
What’s my number? Air, can we conspire in stealing time?
I’ll set words aside, go out and smell the fresh-cut grass,
bask in late-day sun. The present may open, revealing time.
Barbara Lydecker Crane has won three national awards for her sonnets and was a finalist for the 2017 Rattle Poetry Prize. She has published three chapbooks: Zero Gravitas (White Violet Press), Alphabetricks (Daffydowndilly Press), and BackWords Logic (Local Gems Press). Her poems have appeared in journals including First Things, Light, Measure, Rattle, Think, and several anthologies. She’s also an artist.