About Not Writing

Tongue-tied, I stand before
Myself as inquisitor.
I loved to mark time
With a beat, with rhyme.
Time marked me with its thumb,
Slowed down the pendulum.
Slowed it down, or stopped:
Words were lopped, words dropped—
No use to devise
Reasons or alibis.
Now, strangely, I draw breath
Well past my ninetieth.
What’s begun is almost done,
Still I must brood upon
The much that I sought,
The little that I wrought,
Till time brings its own
Lockjaw of stone.

Copyright © 2012 by Naomi Replansky. “About Not Writing” originally appeared in Collected Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 2012). Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved.