As a contemporary of any time there is a certain

praise you must give yourself for having been born in

such a time and for having survived even a day of it.

A congratulatory pat on the back.

I, like you, walk this street, the hands of the clock

tower at the the square always pointing upward, as a

bell tolls ceaselessly. You pass me by (I'm taking my

time) and I nod to you in praise of your power of

motion, like a William Wordsworth poem at your feet

driving you ever onwards until you reach the archway

by the clock tower where schoolchildren laugh and

play, daring each other to enter, but they never do

because they would be marked forever.

That one over there who went through the archway.

You reach it and I don't stop you, William Wordsworth

doesn't stop you, no one stops you, so you go through.

There you are, on the other side of that stone arch, a

golden sun warming the setts beneath your feet. The

schoolchildren come back, they always do, and you will

too, but I will be gone from this spot, for I will

have turned the other way, trying to find William

Wordsworth under my feet. The hands of the clock

tower have moved and I cannot stay for it is tea-time.

Once you return, however, you will not be the same, a

mere shadow of yourself, with many poets at your feet,

driving you in different directions, and the hands of

the clock tower will again be pointing upwards and you

will stop for tea and you will see me, still drinking

from my cup, the liquid cold.