A Twist in Time
Paul McLaughlin
At lunch with Dad, the story lines unwind.
He's clear on who and where
           but nows and thens get tangled
                       in a twist of knotted twine.

He used to manage complex webs of trends
      suspended tight-rope tight from year to year
                         but now he hesitates:
            he feels around to find a thread
                         that leads across the fear
                                           and takes a step
                         and tumbles to the ground.

But what can I expect? He's eighty-nine
          no longer called upon to entertain
                        the dwindling crowd.
When now and then entwine
          we pull the knot apart
                        Despite the pain
           he knows I'll break his fall
                    until this ball of tangled time
                          becomes no time
                                          at all.

July 2001