What purpose to count the years that remain:
I never thought I would be spared. But how do I
account for the wild spinning of my inner compass
as various darks, inside & out, swirl around time’s
official change? A single second ticking by, all the clocks
in this house suddenly wrong, another hour lost.
—Aleda Shirley, last two strophes of “Tempo Rubato,” from Dark Familiar (Sarabande Books, 2006)