. Somewhere in Time . Tuesday, August 13, In the Year of Our Lord 1895 Dear Wells, despite your sober apprehension, I’m grateful that you’ve granted me the boon Of borrowing your brilliant new invention. I plan to use it Sunday afternoon. I share your fears that changing past events Might harm the present. I’ll not take that chance. I’ll simply speak with Claire in penitence Before her accidental death. One dance, One story told, one last embrace, one kiss. Then I’ll return with not one fact amiss. . Friday, October 20, In the Year of Our Lord 1882 I’ve traveled back in time! My Claire’s so young! I almost cannot breathe to see her live--- The way she laughs, her scent, her silver tongue; A last embrace I’ve waited years to give. Claire doesn’t have a clue that death awaits And that our precious time is almost through. I’m tormented to know our painful fates Must manifest so soon, our days so few! She chatters on so wittily, so clever, And does not grasp we do not have forever. . Sunday, August 18, In the Year of Our Lord 1895 I fixed events so that the blasted carriage Which lost control and caused Claire’s death was caught. I saved my love and thus preserved our marriage. But now, back in the present, I’m distraught For everything is wrong! My ailing wife Has polio and can no longer walk. My son, who should enjoy a banker’s life Is now a drunkard and can barely talk. I changed the past---now everything’s awry. I must go back. Once more my Claire must die. . Sunday, October 22, In the Year of Our Lord 1882 The street was very crowded near The Strand With tony people dressed up to the nines; The pavement scarcely left us room to stand And those who wished to cross took turn in lines. Claire lost all patience---it was half-past five And she had obligations, so she walked Into the street---Her last act while alive Was wave to me. But then some horses balked. The driver lost control, the carriage sped Unbridled. Now my darling Claire is dead. . A Letter from the Future (Date Unknown) Dear Wells, destroy your devilish machine! The smallest interference in the past--- A single word, disruptions of routine--- Can break the things to which a man holds fast. Instead of weeping over what took place We must make time count now! Redeem the truth. Show love, don’t miss a kiss or fond embrace. Life’s wasted yearning for a better youth. A time machine works best, I must avow, When it’s not needed. Change things here and now. . . Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.