‘Timeline’ by Joanna Sedgwick (Issue 85)

Timeline

The Sign Language teacher explains
where I should place my hands;
to show past, present and future tense:

the past behind my shoulder,
the present at my body,
the future stretched out in front of me.

High up in the Andes
they speak Aymara,
the only known language

that places the past in front
where we can see it, what we know,
the future behind us, in our blind spot.

I think of you, stretch out my hands
and reach for the past.

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