Current Affairs

Roy Herndon Smith

Words like birds flit through,
settle in, and fall out of
space—matters of time.

Thoughts like butterflies,
flutter, light, and dissappear—
moments of color.

Death’s not what I dread,
nor loss, nor suffering, but
the still small gaze of

a child who’s been torn
out of a mother’s embrace
and has stopped crying,

the erasure of
even the memory of,
the thoughts of, the words

for, mother, leaving
not even absence—a blank,
the unacknowledged

extinction of a
color, butterfly, or bird—
a matter of time.