Roll back, roll back, let nimble hands
Mind the gears and spindles-
Roll back, roll back, the time of man
Before the hours dwindle.
Return me to my mother’s home,
Let her kitchen pot, just simmering,
Waft the world that I’ve outgrown
Back into a vivid memory.
Let me see my sister playing
All alone beside the stair,
Braiding and unbraiding
Her dolly’s long blond hair.
Let me again feel the crisp of summer heat
Through my fresh, unspoiled skin or
Crimson fingertips, stained berry sweet
With disregard for dinner.
To see mysterious, repetitious behavior
That used to thrill and frighten
Before I understood human nature,
Before the weight of what enlightens
When insects were still interesting
And maps were of hidden forts-
Let me remember petitioning
In undiluted desire or remorse.
Roll back, roll back just once
To sleep on my childhood bed
Before this clock has chimed
And all these times are dead.