top of page

Marking Time


The boy swings back and forth,

a pendulum marking time,

as his lungs synchronized with air

inaugurate an arc of song.


His hands grasp rough bark,

the limb of a pomegranate tree

barren as the land


behind him. Up a steep incline

shards of askew rocks

mark the graves of Afghans

slaughtered over years

of conflict. Here and there,


red cloth, worn by the veneration

of wind, oscillates from poles

bleached white as the bones

of martyrs ensconced

below. The boy’s feet


against the fixed point of trunk

push him back into the space

that takes on the contour 

of his supple body. To and fro,


to and fro, denoted by his innate rhythm,

by the instinctive delight in his voice,

he flies past the scarred landscape,

toward that opening, his future.


By: Blaine Marchand, award winning poet, author and program manager.

bottom of page