On This Day
Smith Browne

8 December
the day John Lennon died outside the Dakota
on the Upper West Side of Manhattan,
the day a head teacher was stabbed to death
by his students outside his West London school,
the day the Superpowers reversed the arms race,
the day the Greeks caught a terrorist, television
was allowed into the Lords, and all I can ask myself
on the day that this day becomes my own,
is why anyone would want to kill John Lennon?
and why anyone would keep rubbing this damned watch?
as if by force of spit age could change to silver,
as if when he sees my wrist again, he will see
time move backward to when I was green and
larval and susceptible to flattery. They say you change
doing time; they say you crust then chrysalis then come out
butterfly. They lie. On this day, when he sees me, he won’t see
a polished silver watch on the wrist of a lean, green girl but
adamantine flesh and the loss of precious time.

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