All in Time

by RC James
First Place, May 2022
Judged by M.B. McLatchey

I held you through healing,
through passion, through more
than can be said
in the time left.

One soaring summer
your face held all seasons.
I fell shadow-long,
your voice took me to a light
above future breath,
where nothing more is revealed
than faint murmurs of mist and reason.

Beyond the play of horizon on horizon
bathing each others’ faces,
beyond the blue mass of the planet itself,
I find you in spirit
cooler than dudes in fedoras and sunglasses
here for the celebration of ghosts of cool.
You’ve got them all beatdown,
tamed with a voice svelte and persuasive.

Above the field of wind and rushing stream
I love how your dreams sound,
I see you running through a meadow,
in the morning I feel my love follow.

“All in Time” reminds us of how loss alters nature: “your face held all seasons/I fell shadow long”. This is a tender and authentic elegy that gains its power from its control on sentimentality and letting the bereaved one shape the poem’s universe. --M.B. McLatchey