Christine Heffernan

Elements of Time

Past, Present, Future


I can still
The taste of the
Dark chocolate
That I ate so fervently
And the way it
Melted in my hand
Staining my fingers

That’s how we passed the time
It’s a wonder
The game lasted as long as it did
With just four people -
My dad, mom, sister, and me
After awhile we’d break
For a snack
Hence, the chocolate
But occasionally a sip
Of Juicy Juice
And interestingly enough
I never thought to question
Its repetitive name

After tag my sister and I would
Hike up the hill
To the wooden park bench
And race down
Pretending all the while
That we were flying
What I’d give to be five again
And on a picnic
With my family
Playing tag
And eating chocolate
As bittersweet
As this memory

Daily Routine

Laundry keeps me sane
When everything else is changing
It stays the same

Always there
Providing balance

Unarming the chaos
Of day to day life
Is that routine of sorting, dumping, hanging,

Niche for germs
Sitting in a pile
The sneeze left on Wednesday’s sweater sleeve

Day’s madness comes to a halt           
When clothes say so
Demanding the exchange of wrinkles for creases

Ready and waiting
The machine beckons

Yesterday’s load saw this same face
Going through the motions of stability

To Do

I will watch the sun rise
From my kitchen window
Over a bowl of Cheerios

I will dig up that old family recipe
And bake until the aroma of fresh bread
Wafts through the whole house
I will hang a new picture on the wall
A pendant for the plaster
I will search for my favorite shoes
Even though the soles are separating
From the toes up to the tongues
I will host a block party
And man the grill
I will stop to find Orion’s belt
Because who knew clothes were worn
So many miles away?
And since I can’t get to these items today
They’re on my to do list
For tomorrow


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.