Passing Past

by David Ackley


It's over when this dull-eyed part-time cop waves us past

the mall gate, the skewed Toyota SUV, another cop with tape,

a smoking EMT, and something under a draped white sheet. 

These skimmed fates of others slip by fast.


No one means to go that way, on an errand to the mall,

saving a minute for shopping, something that banal,

audited by strangers passing, barely slowing, glancing.

Time's never saved, whatever we meant.

Do with them or don't, all our minutes get spent.