Time-Lapse

Jennifer Matteson

for my grandparents

She watches him sketch roses

in her garden, his head bowed so close


to the page that he is lost for minutes

at a time, before glancing up


to remind himself of the picture.

He works near the tall brick planter


covered in ivy, under a frail willow slouching

toward the ground. Her roses flower and wilt


each day in rhythm and he records them

like a time-lapse photographer, never remembering


the days that pass until she turns back a page,

says yesterday, and he shakes his white hair


as if trying to fire the synapses manually.

Each petal must drop one by one.


He folds himself, again, over the page,

pushing the thin pencil, and she wonders how far


he will whittle it down before it rests.




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