Michael Lauchlan: Someone Is Trying To Explain

relativity to me again.
I’d say more about her talk,
but I’m not drunk enough.
Not yet. A hundred years
after Einstein, you might think
we’d all understand time,
its pliant sinews, the personal clock
by which we gauge our passage.
I only know how long it takes
to stop a wailing baby’s tears–
one thousand steps while
swaying to Miles Smiles
and how long it took mom
to release her last breath.
Maybe Einstein pictured someone
watching us from a light speed
fly-by, but he left some hints
about a never-completed past
and an indiscernible future, how
everything peels away from
an instant where we long for a call
from a daughter driving home
over icy roads. As for the hours
a prisoner waits for a parole board
to read a passel of letters,
to meet and decide? We don’t
have that kind of time.

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