2009 — Time — on seeing a snapshot of my son

Written sometime in October 1998.

Where does it go, then? Or, perhaps better: when?
   Time, I mean — almost unnoticed it slips obscenely away
Until that melancholy day we wake up, and slowly,
   painfully, realise just how much of it's gone.

But where? When? Hell! I wasn't even looking...
Can I have it back, please? My life, that is
    — it was here just a minute ago, I swear.
I put it down, just for a minute,
   "Took my eye off the ball" — as you do.

Next thing I know, it's all in the past,
   behind me, in the rear view mirror,
fading fast. Nowhere near as large as life.
Talk about "too late!" the sleeper wakes.

Another thing. Why this perverse asymptote?
The older you get, the faster you age.
   I ask you, what kind of a deal is that?
A cruel Big Bang of a sort;
suns streak away, fade from sight.

Just like my son. And my father, too, I guess.
Hard to see through the tears. All those years.
   Good years, but so very quickly gone.

Entropy? Dylan Thomas had it right
   with his rage against the dying of the light.
Or Omar, with his Bird of Time. Marvell's wingèd chariot.
   All I know is I want it back. Now!