Iowa Writes

SAM ERWIN
Time


is a second,
a quick glance,
an assurance,
I am a presence on earth.

As a measurement,
time grows.
A minute,
an hour,
a day, week, month,
a year.

I section my day
morning, afternoon, evening.
And immeasurable time:

preparing a holiday meal,
dressing for a special date,
sharing a story,
writing a poem.

When traveling,
I yearn to see as much as possible,
visit with everyone,
as if I will never return.
The need to not waste time.

My diagnosis slows time.
Strangers,
new thoughts,
feelings,
and emotions,
brought into my schedule of time.

is a second,
a quick glance,
an assurance,
I am a presence on earth.

As a measurement,
time grows.
A minute,
an hour,
a day, week, month,
a year.

I section my day
morning, afternoon, evening.
And immeasurable time:

preparing a holiday meal,
dressing for a special date,
sharing a story,
writing a poem.

When traveling,
I yearn to see as much as possible,
visit with everyone,
as if I will never return.
The need to not waste time.

My diagnosis slows time.
Strangers,
new thoughts,
feelings,
and emotions,
brought into my schedule of time.

Appointments and treatments,
moments of tears and fears
intrude,
my section of days
loses its significance.

Midnight,
unwelcomed time,
carries me into the possibility
of good health,
or death,
as everyone else sleeps.

I discover
time is a passage
birthdays,
graduations,
simple family events,
are moments without need of celebration.
And new methods
of spending time.

I recognize
I am on this earth
only a lifetime.

A minute
measured into hours,
disciplined
by medication and therapy.
Time for a moment of peace,
disappearing with my last breath.

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


SAM ERWIN

Sam Erwin lives in West Des Moines, where she is exploring a path toward acceptance through words, art and spiritual direction. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1999 at the age of 43. She wrote this poem as part of The Patient Voice Project.

The Patient Voice Project (http://artshare.uiowa.edu/pvp/index.html) offers free creative writing classes to individuals with chronic and mental illness in the Iowa City area. Created by students at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Arts Share, the classes are conducted in both one-on-one and group sessions and are intended for all age ranges and ability levels.

This page was first displayed
on February 04, 2011

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