Tempus fugit

Tempus Fugit

(Time Flies)

They should still be preschoolers

singing in the children’s choir

round-faced cherubs, both

ever so serious.

Time flies.

Or

children on vacation

tasting salt on their tongues, brine in the wind

with sand on their toes, in their hair

eating pickles from a jar.

Time flies.

Or

teenagers at Bojangles’

laughing, cutting up

marching in the band, going to the prom

still singing the old hymns together.

Time flies.

Or

college kids, going their separate ways

friends temporarily parted

by finding their own paths, until

one ended on a fresh spring night.

Time flies. 

She wrote that he was part

of her favorite childhood memory.

On the eve of her funeral, he dreamed

he heard her singing

of the ocean.

Time flies

Time flies

Time flies.

*******

One year ago today, my younger son (the Cadillac man) lost his childhood friend in an accident. 

She was eighteen. 

20 thoughts on “Tempus fugit

    • It is a tribute, exactly – to her, to him, to childhood, to friendship, to the everyday moments of simply living. His childhood ended that day. He misses her. Thank you, Melanie.

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  1. A beautiful poem that captures those moments in childhood that we take for granted until tragedy happens. I’m so sorry for your son’s loss. Too soon. Too soon.

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  2. I have an 18-year-old son — can’t even imagine. My worst nightmare really. It is amazing you have the strength to create beauty from this tragedy. You remind me to cherish every moment, every day because time does fly for so many reasons.
    Clare

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    • We miss our young friend; my son speaks of her nearly every day. I still reel, one year later, with hearing the words “She’s dead.” It’s one thing to miss a young person’s vibrant presence (she had a beautiful singing voice) but also hard to grapple with all that might have been and will never be. For me, for my son’s sake, this tiny poem is an attempted thank-you for what she was in his life. Today at the anniversary gathering, her mother asked him to give the prayer. And thank you, Clare, for your words here.

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  3. This was so powerful, so beautiful….it brought tears to my eyes. There was love, joy, and so much goodness in this poem. A real tragedy. Several riding students of mine – that were more like my own children – are no longer here. They were so young. Your poem tugged at my heartstrings. Thanks for the reminder that life is a short dance – we should embrace it fully – every single day.

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    • Thank you for this beautiful response, Lynne; my son misses his friend and frequently relives these moments. He recently remembered them sharing pickles from a jar when they were at the beach as young children – it’s when he started liking pickles. Life really is “a short dance” as you say so well. I ache for the losses of your young loved ones as well – there’s a strength or a peace, I think, that can only be found in reliving the simple, happy moments.

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    • Thank you for your response – I am so sorry for your son’s loss also. On the first day of school, too; how haunting, in that it should have been a new beginning. My son’s friend didn’t finish her first year of college. There’s such a loss of “what might have been” when they go so young.

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  4. Beautiful memories on a sad day for you and your family. The swelling and shrinking of the lines reminds me of how grief affects us; we can go for days without it, then a memory makes it grow in our heart and thoughts again.

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    • I am sure it seems impossible that your young brother-in-law has been gone ten years. I am sure his friends and family mark those birthdays and many “would have been” moments, as we do … She would have been nineteen last August, This year she would have been twenty … all the milestones that should have been are painful to mark. And we will mark them for a long, long time. I hope your brother-in-law’s friends gather and remember the fun and happy times; there’s strength and healing in it. And thanks so much for your words.

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  5. Heartbreaking to lose someone so close. There’s an ache in the heart that can’t be healed. Time will dull the ache, but it’s always there. You have written a beautiful poem to honor their friendship. Such a sweet picture.

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