Minnows Keeping Time, a Poem by Mick Albright, 2016

foot-and-minnows
You are nothing.
No thing.
Just a number.
On a calendar.
Some silly system invented by
A Pagan, somewhere,
In a long robe
Leaning against a dark massive
Stone on “Celtic Hill”—a mossy
Drumlin—wondering why the
Sun, so prompt, should be taking so long
This time. A human sacrifice, no doubt,
Waiting in the wings.

Maybe a million years later—
A bishop, in a Gothic cathedral,
Or, if never a Bishop deign stoop so low,
Then a monk, a quiet God-fearing one,
Ascetic little monk-scribe, hunched
Over crinkly parchment, feathers
Dripping black ink, turning
Candle light reveals a mystery
Already ancient when it began.
“Outdo that heretic pagan!”

Or it was a scientist.
Or a farmer with a philosophical bent.
Or a milkmaid, soft and spent.
Sweet, foolish little existential
Milkmaid. I’m sure you labored
Over the shortened, silvered days,
Wooly nights, pooling
The oily-gray
Water of your disillusionment
With being; heartache with
Waiting; obsession with
Knowing; your dismay with all those
Udders!—into a small, round pool;
Like children frolic in
On summer days—Caribbean
Blue plastic, spotted along the bottom
With little green fish—
Shimmering and taunting
As minnows—darting about
Like wonder; or dreams,
An inkling—
What “should be” is not—
What “could be”, hard-sought—
What “might have been”, been
Were all this
Not
Such a lot
Of rot.

Fetch me nothing.
Like Time.
Nothing.
Like Wisdom.
Nothing.
Like God.

Nothing.
Like Words.
Nothing.

Like Love.
Nothing.
Like Nada.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

(C) 2016 by Mick Albright

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