Abiding Time



The third week of March

and winter malingers,

with snow in the spots

   winter still lingers.


I’m walking the sidewalks

  with old Isabelle –

she’s thirteen, but may well

  be ninety.


And Bob bumbles by,

  himself aged plenty.

Old Bob is a grad,

  summa cum laude.


Pen state, 1980.


He must have served ten,

  ten to the day;

but Bob, he won’t tell you.

If asked, won’t say.


He claims it was error;

  he was just in the way.

When the robbers came out,

  they asked him to stay.


“Hold the bag for the lady.”


And they all drove away.


Bob went to jail,

that hour, that day.

  If asked, old Bob

is quiet, won’t say.


“Good mornin’.”


“Good mornin’.

How is your day?”


“All quiet, so far.

Hope it stays that way.”


“I’m waitin’ for spring,

it’s not far away.”


“Yeah, man,” he says,

“That would be fine.”


Then we walk past the small talk

  leaving Bob far behind,

like winter, he malingers,

  in search of a sign.


ambling the sidewalk,

  that trammels his time.

Each day, somewhat older,

  Bob’s biding his time.


And I wonder, of Time:

  A cycle or line?


And Bob on the sidewalk,

  each crack, each line;

a chance at small talk,

  searching a sign.


Time in a cycle,

  or a straight line,

awaiting the signal,

  abiding the sign.




©2013, Marvin Loyd Welborn

Revised 3 August 2013


Poem’s Score: 1.0


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