The Goddess of Time

The Goddess of Time – Wendy Howe

Near the railway
I find her staring
at a pack of cigarettes

and  not looking
typically Hellenic
in a white gown with sandals

but more like a woman
from a spy novel. Wintry
with blonde hair descending
from a dome of silver fur
and trim of the same color
on her coat sleeves and collar.

I ask her why
and she infers it’s the season
and the current trend
of everything related to Russia,

but that has nothing to do
with her  usage
or concept of time.

She points to the station clock
and shakes her head,

that’s how they perceive me —
and if not like that,
than as an hour glass, sun dial
or clepsydra.

The last word
cascades off her tongue
echoing into soft rain
that dampens the field across the street.

A flock of  birds
shimmers in the gray light
and she continues…

They are the time piece
knowing when the landscape
shortens or lengthens
its hem of shadows,

when the wind and tides shift,
( what mask the moon will wear
on a certain night),

when it’s right to land or leave.

An old train rumbles past
making her presence ripple
in this darkening hour; and  the goddess
lights a cigarette — you see
she goes on,

I don’t measure life,
I inspire moments.

Wendy Howe is an English teacher and freelance writer who lives in Southern California. Her poetry reflects her interest in myth, diverse landscapes and ancient cultures. Over the years, she has been published in an assortment of journals both on-line and in print. Among them: The Linnet’s Wings, Ariadne’s Thread, Mirror Dance, Strange Horizons, Niteblade, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Scheherazade’s Bequest, and Yellow Medicine Review. Some of her latest work will be forthcoming in Coffin Bell and Poetry Pacific.