Albert Goins
2 min readNov 29, 2021

The Wilted Rose.

I’ll tell you what I know of time,

Then said the Passerby,

It little matters that you know,

But Listen, and draw nigh:

Time is a drink we swallow whole,

when someone holds the cup,

Time is a door we open up yet soon forget to close,

Time is a friend we fail to sup or serve aright or ask to come and stay,

Time is just a worn-out suit

that does no longer fit,

A wilted rose,

the sleep we know,

the world that ever turns,

And right behind our failures are his pages ‘neath our toes,

And if we act too busy,

He quickly walks away,

As if he had a starring role in someone else’s play,

Yet time is really none of these:

He speaks few lines then dies,

Still as he paces on the stage,

He feigns that he might stay.

That’s yet his favorite


Time is but an actor we’ve written for our Play,

To speak bit parts then bow and scrape and shuffle from the stage,

He waits on cues and beckons us to meet outside the door,

But we will never pay him,

So he exits from the stage,

He never takes a gracious bow,

But at the curtain calls,

He broods ‘amongst the groundlings far ‘neath the lime-lit boards,

No one can recognize his lines or prompt him when he fails,

Nor give him proper makeup based on the parts he played,

Until he speaks his Epilogues or pulls the curtain’s ropes,

Then like a tear-filled newborn held on the midwife’s lap,

He mewls and kicks and steals his chance,

To act the understudy

in some new player’s part.

-Albert Turner Goins, Sr.