XII

RETURNING

 

After years uncounted, I returned to Earth,

to find it had changed little o’er time.

There was much iron and concrete ‘pon the place of my birth,

but skies, seas and pastures thoroughly sublime

still spoke of an age long passed.

And I remembered my memories at last.

 

Once where I’d thought the grass would be greener,

far removed from this world and the days of my pain,

I came upon the place where last I had seen her

and tears fell gently and warmly again.

 

The echoes of her, with her voice and her smile,

sounded ‘cross many an age and a mile.

And, like only days had been left behind,

my cold love for her was warmed in my mind.

 

Days of reflection and days of despair,

recalling rejection and calling it fair,

when knowing I knew that I deserved better

back in the days long ‘fore I met her.

 

But Better was absent, Better was gone,

Better was unattainable, I dwelt upon.

‘Til a man found me crying and took me to bear,

explaining that he could return me there.

 

A machine of chronological manipulation.

An achievement of mankind’s intellectual mutation.

An engine of fantastic, spectacular design.

He promised to send me hurtling through time.

 

Strapped into the chair like a victim of state,

perspiring profusely. I couldn’t wait

to set foot in a world I had long left behind.

Of course, there was a risk of losing my mind.

 

‘I need you to know that I am eternal,

and sending me back may not end that condition.

I just couldn’t stand to suffer some infernal

repeat of the journey that led to this position.’

 

They looked to each other and nodded agreement,

revealing that they had encountered this before:

‘We studied the history of the man and where he went,

and learned that his days were endless no more.’

 

I smiled, the tears fell and I knew this was right.

They flipped the switch and I was flooded with light…

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