Time’s Arrows and Other Poems

Nic Luppino is a computer professional in Portland, Oregon, who has a degree from Mount Holyoke College in political science. His poetry was published in Just Out under the name of Jan Robbins. He has also been published as Chris Wilder (short story in The Lavendar Network and a poem in the anthology, Ex-Lover Weird Shit).

Time’s Arrows (For Rose)

The arrow of time gets lost
In the honeycomb of aging grey matter
Days and years become jumbled
Time travel is no challenge
In your mind so riddled with time’s ravages

Physics be damned, you can travel to the past
The dead are living, and the living are yet unborn

It’s always going to be Christmas soon
Or my birthday or some other joyous event
Where you need to give gifts
That your mind’s generosity would love to pay
But your current reality cannot afford
Poverty doesn’t exist in your world
Everything is as it was twenty years ago

You think my brother is a young father again
Instead of a grandfather five times over
You think I am young and struggling again
Forgetting that I have a home and life I worked for
You think your late husband is still running off for flings
Not laid in the ground for nearly 20 years
You think you can walk out of the nursing home

I fear time’s arrow when I see what you have become

I fear my future and want something far better for you
I fear that I will not have family to look after me as you do
I fear that my own memory will not take me to a sweeter past
I pray that soon time stops for your corporeal presence
I pray to die before I am physically and mentally helpless
I pray that no one faces these arrows without love.

Requiem for Flaquita (For Iride Massaro del Betran ’76)

Part of the revolution disappeared
Into the Guatemalan darkness

Antigua, Guatemala


With one child in her arms
Another in her womb

Only the machines with guns
Barking obscenities and orders
Working for the death factory
Know what transpired

I knew her as the skinny one,
With fierce, dark eyes and impassioned voice
Who spent crisp, autumn afternoons
Arguing violence was a political necessity

Born in Chile, she traversed her continent
Determination forged by Allende’s overthrow
Working with Archbishop Romero
Until his murder forced her family to flee

Her husband was not home and escaped
When the soulless intruders broke in
Perhaps her children were sold into adoption
To childless North Americans who didn’t ask questions

She died alone, beaten, and tortured
Holding fast to her beliefs while her body broke
A sacrifice to Marx’s manifesto
A waste of a dream for her companeros.

Copyright Nicki Nicolo. You may not copy or publish these poems without the express consent of the author.

2 thoughts on “Time’s Arrows and Other Poems

  1. Nicki, thanks for posting these poems, I found them very powerful especially the piece dedicated to our classmate ‘Flaquita’. Thanks again, Eileen.

  2. Both incredibly moving poems with haunting images. Thank you for sharing them.

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