Rota Fortunae

“Time and Tide wait for no man.”

Geoffrey Chaucer

The day repeats the dream.

Behind our masks we carry muffled voices

breathy and uneven

mostly silent,

The only noise our shoes on asphalt shuffling small gravel pieces,

announcing our approach to the guard of palatine crows foraging yesterday’s memorial,

rooting debris along the floral wrack line.


The slant of sun on granite breaks bolder under still-bare trees.

The morning sun brightens old inscriptions–

Names and dates hold audience.


We nod to the General’s family,

remember a favorite teacher

and sigh mournfully in passing a childhood friend.

We wave hello and tell my father we’ll be back with fresh flowers.


The path continues round then round again

as the Wheel turns once more with a barely discernible click.


There is peace in silent conversation.

I reach for words, but pull back,

instead the rhythm of the Wheel and Fortune’s lottery

quickens my pace as we pass a canopy and chairs with tribute sprays reminding:



The circle turns once more and paths diverge.

With one last look we retreat

as time and fortune click softly in the distance.


And the dream repeats the day.


D. Fetterly/Winter 2021