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Side by side with time I walk. 
When it slows, I slow. 
When it runs, I run.
That is the rule.
But suddenly, I stop
And let time continue without me.

My friend, 
Don’t leave. 
My friend,
Please stay.

Time in my fists, 
My unwillingness to let go.
Don’t leave. Stay. 

But time has other plans.
It continues without me, 
Stretching far ahead, 
Faster, faster,
Farther, farther.

In horror, I watch time slip
And run too fast to catch.
My friend, please. 
I’m here. My friend, 
Don’t leave me.
Don’t leave. Come back.

I stand, time slipping.
I look at time’s trail 
Ahead, behind, and turn around,
Back the way I came.

My walk turns into a jog, a sprint.
I flash through black and white,
Rain and sun, sadness and happiness,
And laughs, and cries, and anger, and peace.
I see it all again,
Pushing further, further, halting.

Here I am. 
Here I stand. 

Laughing children, smiling adults.
A crying child, a toddler
And a boy, a teen.

I watch the two as people move
Languidly as if in water.
The boy speaks, inaudible.
A change of heart,
The crying child smiles.

In mono I stand
Amongst the crowd of color 
As the children join the waltz. 
Tears on the floor.
A drip, a drop.
I turn.

I must catch up with time.
I must return to my home, 
My friend.
Through the colorful past, the present,
A new hope alights.

I remember what he said.
I remember with certainty.
I must not be sad. I must not cry.
My friend is nearby, 
Its path brighter.
I must be happy,
Accept what is.

I grab time’s wrist.
I am here, my friend. 
Time stops, nods, continues.
Without stopping I follow.

When time slowed, I slowed.
When time ran, I ran.
That was the rule.
My friend had set his own pace 
And it was not my place
To force, seize or slow.

Let it be 
And continue my journey
With my long, everlasting friend,
For he once told me,
And with certainty 
I would remember,

Whatever happens, 
Do not blame yourself. 
Do not linger. Continue,
For I will always be with you.

About Author

Gina Kotinek

Gina Kotinek is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the SPOT Lit. She can usually be found hunched over her computer, reading, writing, or searching for the art of conquering carpal tunnel and tendonitis.