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Time In A Bottle
written by: Arlene Antoinette
She smiles and for a moment I think
the joy on her face is for me.
I am known again. I am cherished again.
I am loved. In a tick of a heartbeat,
her smile is erased leaving in its wake
a blank stare. Empty eyes now a window
to a troubled soul. She’s lost to me.
If I had the power, I would hold time still.
Better yet, I would rewind time and restore
her strength, youth and memory. But time
does not stand still. Time can’t be stored
away or held securely in a bottle; it flows
out in one direction. Forward. Always, forward.
I remind her that I’m her fourth grandchild: the chubby
dimpled girl with knobby knees. She’s engaged
in my tale, but it doesn’t touch her heart. It doesn’t
ignite the flame of memory I’m hoping for. I am still
a nobody; an annoying visitor trying to force a smile
on the face of a woman who thinks that I am a stranger.
At the end of each visit, I leave more broken than the
last time. And she, the grandmother whom I love, continue
to stare at me with those vacant questioning eyes.