Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"I Can Stop Time" by Ross Balcom

I Can Stop Time
Ross Balcom

The long-awaited messiah
hanged himself in the closet.

The house groaned.


In his bedroom,
the Boy Scout slashed his wrists
with his prize arrowhead.

The old parrot was blind.
He could only repeat,
"Scout's honor: I want to die."

The debutante had coffin breath,
unusual in one so young;
but everyone agreed that death 
had marked her at an early age,
when the shadow of the jump rope
fell on her the wrong way.
(One day, she will wake to find 
her head replaced with a headstone,
and no one will kiss her R. I. P.)

"Let's face it: we're talking 
about the procession of the days and hours,
about time and sorrow and the inevitable death
of everything,"
said the little boy

as I stole his crackers.

Please, God, send us a messiah who can face life
with a winning smile.
You see, our previous messiah
hanged himself with a jump rope
in the closet.

I hide in the house.
Its shadows are mine.

A blank-eyed clown,
escaped from the circus,
stands at the front door. Speaks.
"I can stop time."

Poet's Notes: I was thinking about astrology (as I often do) and spinning the wheel of the Zodiac in my mind. I stopped its spinning and thought, "I can stop time." That was the origin of this poem, which has nothing to do with astrology.

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