10 June 2011

The Time Machine

He built himself a time machine
when he was only three
And only just beginning to think always first of “me.”
He thought “how fun to skip the baths, the broccoli, the chores!”
A veritable thinking prodigy, beyond all childlike mores.
“I’ll skip just little things,” he said, “like visits from my aunts
Unpleasant early bedtimes, and undesired naps.”
I’ll miss nothing important,” he thought with confidence sublime
Sure of where the grand devise could take him fro in time
When in three days his fifth birthday party would draw near
He slipped into his time machine and quickly disappeared!
When stepping out he heard his mother’s voice ring loud and true
“Hurry up or we’ll be late, we’re all waiting on you!”
After birthday then came Christmas, his presents lined the wall!
“Surely one less week of life doesn’t matter now at all!”
So he skipped twenty-one, twenty-two December, twenty-three, then twenty-four
And hopped out of his time machine to a bright, clear Christmas morn!
On to kindergarten he ran, and saw with envious eyes
How all the first-graders towered above all the lowly kids his size
“I’ll just skip half a year,” he said, “then make it up one day
When all the games will be for me more fun to get to play.”
So first grade came and first grade went, as grades are wont to do
But school felt more like punishment, confinement in a zoo!
He saw how junior high kids played at sports, all real not make believe
And temptation sore arose once more his little mind to deceive.
Then freshmen year, my God, which one of US would not skip past?!?
Missing out only on wedgies and noogies and sophmores’ scornful blast!
“If I’m ever to have any fun,” he thought, “independence, I must find!”
So he rode his time machine once more, into the graduation line.
He had to admit, college could be fun, “but always broke, are we!”
“A job, a JOB is what I must have to satisfy my need!”
So he skipped four years of college and began to interview
For jobs that seemed so exciting, and an office with a view!
Well, not so much a view, per se, but a window he could see
From his little cube, “fifth one on the left hand side, that’s me!”
He was on his way up, for sure, climbing corporate ladders tall,
But each time his ladder always seemed leaned against the wrong wall.
“I’ll skip just one more year,” he said “no more than two or three”
“I’ll have a much better job to start to raise a family.”
Then came the nights of crying babe, up at three, then again at five
He lost track of all the nights he skipped, waiting for new teeth to arrive
He read too many bedtime stories, and so he skipped that time, though only slight
Coming back just in time to kiss a sleeping toddler “good night.”
When time for t-ball came at last he found no fun or learning there
So let’s just skip on over “coach-pitch” to the real competition where
His talents would be more appreciated, a boon to his son’s coach
Only finding he’d skipped all the years he’d found a tedious reproach
He’d skipped out, too, on the love he knew he once saw in his young bride’s eyes
So the service papers and brand new locks were not a complete surprise.
The squabbles and lawyers and bitterness drove him to the brink of despair
Who can blame him for deciding to skip to the end of that affair?
The loneliness in his little shack was a deafening silent dread
With no more smeared hand prints on windows, or stale left-open bread
“Surely I’ll be happy when I can retire, with no more daily toil!
My son and daughter will by then have given me grandchildren to spoil!
Now the time machine lies dusty, an ill-fated, hateful thing
For when he added up all the life he’d skipped, it left him not one thing
He found he’d skipped so much of life, he was but twenty-three
Trapped in a body old and frail, ears deaf, no eyes to see
There was only one more destination the damned machine could provide 
So he entered that infernal box one last time, a one-way ticket to ride.

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