Steve Roberts, “Time Once, Again”

Steve Roberts

The sun turns the creek-bed’s sand silver,
Reflects off a silver key, half-buried.
Here is where riding bikes the summer
Before ninth grade, ready to pedal back home
Before noon to meet Dad to go buy the three-speed
We’d decided on, having asked my friend Dan
Over and over what time it was before
Realizing his wristwatch had to be going
Backward, I turned my outgrown Sears Best one-speed
Around and high-tailed it home. But
By the time I got there Dad had already left,
Returned with one of the bikes I’d said
I rather not have, but that he made me keep anyway
To teach me a lesson never to be late.
A prickly cockspur pulled from the bottom
Of my bare foot, onto my shin I wipe the muck off
The retrieved-from-the-weeds Titleist golf ball,
Its smile cut deep revealed. The rickety old footbridge
Replaced by an asphalt cart path, a red spider’s
Spindly black legs mimic the red-clay mud’s
Black tire-tread imprint. The ground
Underneath my parents’ driveway’s cracked concrete
Washed out, the golf ball bounces hollow.
Pine needles blanket the steep, ivy-laced bank,
And two trees need to come down.
Around a silver gossamer spins a silver leaf,
And the silver key warm inside my shirt pocket journeys.

Bio: Steve Roberts is a previous contributor to Wild Goose Poetry Review. He is the author of two collections of poetry and lives in Wilmington, NC

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