All my life,
I wrestled with Time.
Pumped fists,
perpetual conflict,
trying to fit in
millions of things–
disparate, divergent,
to win this fight.
I kept controlling Time,
closer, tighter
trying to capture it,
with the skills of a sniper.

Time, ‘the subtle thief of youth’,
always unidirectional,
moved on like truth.
Never the one to give up,
I kept attempting to carve out
as if it were some Colossus,
forever trying to cut it, chop it,
into work, workout, weekend,
play, passion, pastime,
trying to shove it all,
like Procrustes,
on his iron bed,
fitting some,
kniving out the rest.
Timelines were drawn
taut and tense
my mind forever dense.
Time was short
Time, the truant, had to be caught.

And then the pandemic came
somehow, somewhere
altering the game.
Fear and panic ruled,
confusion, yes,
but at last, no schedules.
A weekday melting into a weekend,
a lazy, languid moment,
at last ‘my Time’ to spend…
This smudged time
eased me
eased life.
And finally Time,
for once, found time
to speak its mind.

Sangeeta Kampani, 62, worked with the IRS and retired as a Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi.

Featured image credit: 愚木混株 Cdd20/ Pixabay