“The Sands of Time” by Rebecca Johnson

Amber, scarlet, gilded daffodil.

All sits quiet, calm,
and the sun sets as I turn to you.

It takes a second but then I see a granule
of sand that chips away, oh so slight,
at the wrinkle at the corner of your lips.

You never notice as it drifts
through the autumn air to greet the floor,
but I peer into its golden glow and see
our memories from the day we shared.

I watch the moment when you woke
and saw me curled up in pain but
you didn’t complain. You never do.
You cancelled the dinner and the dance
and brought breakfast in bed.

I wanted a grand romantic gesture to make you giggle
like you did on our first date so many years ago,
when there was cream upon my nose.
Today, I couldn’t walk to the kitchen for my medicine.
Instead, you got it for me and cuddled up beside me
under the blanket our granddaughter knit us last year.

When my body ruined date after date,
you asked me to stop my endless apologies
and you said that you loved me. Even still
you love me.
Though pain robbed me of years of my life
from the time I was in grade school,
you always make the little moments memorable.

You don’t notice the tear that joins our memories—
it twinkles with the sounds of wind chimes, rain,
and the laughter of long independent children.
You kiss my bittersweet smile as I stand in the dying sunlight,
praising God for the time we had, good years and bad.
I plead to stay in this moment forever, but tomorrow
I’ll watch another granule carve time’s path
ever so deeper into the crease of your lips.


Rebecca Johnson is an emerging writer currently studying creative writing at the University of North Texas. Her poetry seeks to dissolve the stigma surrounding migraine and other chronic illnesses and offer those with unseen disabilities a chance to be heard.

Photo by SUNBEAM PHOTOGRAPHY on Unsplash