We were never on time for anything,
though Daddy rattled the car keys in the hall
while Mother puffed her hair another inch.
We even missed the seasons,
got to the mountains too late
for autumn colors, looked instead
at bear trees and walked on dead leaves
brown as cracklings. Only their deaths
were early, and they were right on time
for those. I’m left alone, and feel
like the gray mule we saw that winter day,
going round and round in the old way,
grinding the cane that was, though late,
still sweet.

William Greenway
from his book Everywhere at Once
University of Akron Press, 2008
Used with permission of the poet

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