By Gabrielle Swartzentruber

The universe is ruled by none
Save for only two,
Time – dictator of a death march,
Hope – leading a coup.

The wizened three servants of Time
Cut their victim’s cords.
With their golden scissors they rule
As eternal lords.

The hardy followers of Hope
Resisting Fate vile,
To cast their eyes on falling stars
Fleeting all the while.

When Time knew Hope in the morning
She was but a spark,
Her potential not yet realized
Fighting ‘gainst the dark.

He chased her down the hall, with her
Shadow on the wall –
When he turned around the bend, she
Wasn’t there at all.

When Time knew Hope at the sun’s peak
She was a lit torch;
He tried to steal her far away
Only to be scorched.

Ever patient, Time waited for
Hope’s handle to melt;
Soon she was naught but a pool when
At his feet she knelt.

When Time knew Hope in the evening
She was only ash –
Time had marched too quickly, and so
His Hope had been dashed.