That Was Then, Not Now

by Gary Hardaway

The pastness of the past
cuts deeper than the other facts
the consciousness must bear.

Memory is unreliable, of course-
re-coloring savored scenes-
paler here, more saturated there-

aligning fondness and event
more suitably. In any colors,
the harrowing doneness of the done

smears the emptier now
with enervating shades of gray and black.
Contrast energizes loss. Recollection

proves the mind an open system after all
and engineers a few small steps
that dance ahead of entropy.