• William I. Atkinson

For My Parents on Their Thirtieth Anniversary

What is a mark in time but reckoning of it? Each anniversary carries in a small black pouch Strapped to its belt, a slight reminder That we all are mortal. Our great grandfather clock Ticks aural counterpart of sleek mahogany and polished brass As if to say, with gravity: MEMENTO TU IPSE MORTALIS ES.


We smile; the ghosts, while not dispersed, assume A kindlier countenance; and grouping now In twos and threes with ghostly champagne glasses Broken long ago – Do I discern our own visages In their farthest rows? – toast you as do I: To longer years of laughter-loving life.

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