It is so hot in the South
that time melts away,
the clock folds into itself.
As a child it seemed
I could freeze the hours.
My mother would remain forty,
moving as fast as a NASCAR racecar
and healthy for eternity.
My father would continue mowing
the lawn through summer’s wilting grass,
his shirt drenched in Saturday sweat
while ants crawled at a snail’s pace
up and down their slow-built mound.
The yard is now a concrete lawn.
My mother’s heart races, her fastest
movement these days. The anthills
have long since flattened out.
My own hair grows quickly gray
and the only thing frozen in time –
my father’s heart and body stopped
and still beneath this heated ground.
Maureen Sherbondy’s work has appeared in Calyx, The Cortland Review, Stone Canoe, Feminist Studies, and other journals. DANCING WITH DALI, her forthcoming poetry book, will be published in 2020 by FutureCycle Press. Maureen lives in Durham, North Carolina. She teaches English at Alamance Community College.