Faith, Family Life, Published


The now-clock is the clock of a toddler in which every number is replaced by the word “now”
and the hands of now are always pointed directly at the now or between two nows.
-J. Hope Stein, “The Now-Clock”

My son insists on honey buttered toast
and by the time I lay the plate he asks
for jam instead. His indecisiveness
feels personal, but he’s transcending time:
so true to every spark of life, so sharp,
it’s sempiternal. Apple jam in hand,
I meet him there, where, as best we can in flesh,
we mirror Him who claims the name I AM,
and His command to be like little ones.
A story: once, my spouse at seven played
a prank with friends on Mom. Outside, they rang
the doorbell, ran and hid. Mom checked, then shrugged
to no one there, and closed the door. But then
(fresh spark), he wished to see his mom again,
and leaping from behind the bush, he knocked.

Originally published in Volume 18, Issue I of The Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry