Better or Worse by Lisa Timpf

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on the front lawn the robins
 hunt their prey, heads cocked,
 listening for worms while on the sidewalk
 people walk their dogs—a beagle, 
 a border collie cross, and some kind
 of doodle—as the relentless April rain 
 drizzles down, which makes my trick knee
 ache in a way I hadn’t imagined when I was
 young and oblivious—spurred
 by some amorphous discontent, I think,
 maybe somewhere there’s a time gate
 I could slip through when nobody’s
 looking, and go back to when things
 didn’t hurt but what time frame
 would I choose and would I really
 trade today’s certainties for the insecurity
 of university days, when I became
 Goldilocks, trying things out to see
 what fit the best—maybe
 it’d be best to fly further back, 
 to a childhood without YouTube, 
 and social media, when finding 
 a couple of tarnished copper pennies
 on the street was an occasion for celebration
 because it meant my friend and I
 could buy spearmint leaves or gumballs
 or ice-chocolate at the corner store, 
 down-to-earth treats which we’d savor
 while we watched Star Trek re-runs
 and dreamed of space

BIO: Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her poetry has appeared in Third Wednesday, Star*Line, Polar Borealis, Liminality, and other venues. You can find out more about Lisa’s writing at