Elizabeth Simons

Biting hard,
the clock spits time on name-labeled strips
that measure numbered moments in a waking life.

It quantifies:
four hundred eighty minutes is a working day
(with thirty off for lunch).

It guarantees:
each minute�s worth (correctly punched)
is slightly less than ten-cent pieces in the till.

Its digital display dispenses proof:
that money equals time,
and Fridays
come in paycheck-perfect increments.


My ears
are filled to capacity
with throbbing, canned nostalgia;
up beat
and loud speakered,
through air
too thinned by heat to resist.

My eyes
drink sun-drenched colors
shimmering among the queues
of wishful strangers
for a Wonderful Time.

My skin
shrinks from the white-hot glare
of too much fun,
while my nose inhales
the two-step rhythm of scorching fat
flavoring the air.

It�s a cornucopic feast,
fiesta-fresh and glittering;
a village of strangers
in the Great American quest
for gaiety.


When did life begin to wane?
When did I meet the other side of growth?
Which birthday beacon
pointed to the season�s change
from springtime novelty to fall?

When did the glow of youth withdraw?
Which morning did I wake and see with certainty
the bloom was off the rose–
and realize

that knights would never joust for me?

© 2002 Elizabeth Simons

Elizabeth Simons is an editor by trade and a poet by heart. She has written many poems, a few short stories, innumerable letters, and has recently completed a manuscript on creative writing for young adults. Ms. Simons currently lives with her husband, Richard, and a calico cat in Columbia, Missouri and works as an editor for the University of Missouri-Columbia.