Daylight Savings Time always throws me off. Setting the clocks back in the fall isn’t so bad even if in other years it means it’s dark when I get home from work and eventually dark when I leave for work too. It’s worse in the spring when we lose an hour, and that always brings back memories of one evening in my childhood when I went down the street to ask if some kids I knew could come out and play and she said it was too late for them to be out, adding, “Maybe after Daylight Savings Time starts…” It was May and I realized that was a bogus excuse and the kids didn’t want to play with me but were too cowardly to tell me themselves so they sent their mother out to do it.
At least in the fall we get to sleep an extra hour even if it does mean that Halloween–the most wonderful time of the year–is over and the days which have already been getting shorter are about to start getting even shorter, which is going to happen regardless of what the clocks say. That inspired me to write this poetic tribute to falling back several years ago, and I’m not too cowardly to say it’s not funny but I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Daylight Savings Time
It’s over. Time to crank the clocks back an hour
And face the fresh week with a little more
Sleep. An hour to live over, to wince in the light out
Earlier than before. I have to wait
A few days until morning’s dark again wraps the house.
I march to shed sleep’s robe with a quick wash
While the digital clock’s bright gash
Fades into a faint red nimbus.
The hour went as quickly as it came
And added a trace of storm
To my hair. My legs rebel at the thought,
With pain, of lifting me out
Intro this light. It’s made me a witness.
A life is composed of hours.
Unwatched they collapse into years
And in a moving moment condense.
The leaves talk against the window in this bright
Wind. Movement, all of it, can’t separate
From time, but the fall of day has a taste
Of denial, a wrinkle that wants to be missed.
Dawn wicks away night’s flesh and color
Until it’s only a skull bleached
By the cold. In an hour that never
Happened blood surged through skin touched
By time turning backward. My hand
Slid that hour through falling sand
And like a dark red worm from chrysalis
I come into a desolate place.