I’ve wandered from the party going on in the house out into the big back yard. An open lawn with a late-summer look: long mostly dark green grass blades with a small percentage of tannish ones—not dry patches, just the season on the wane. The perimeter lined with large trees and scattered leafy bushes. There are four or five white wrought-iron lawn chairs and three small wrought-iron tables. I sit down at the nearest one. There’s a sense of relief, away from the crowd. A woman I don’t recognize sits down across the table from me, and just then I notice the grass is moving, as if blowing in a non-existent wind. I look over at the next table that stands maybe thirty feet away. Two women are talking and laughing, too engaged to notice the grass. I look back into the grass, which by now is seething, though the trees seem unaffected: their leaves hang motionless. I glance toward the woman at my table and see that she’s staring at the grass, mesmerized. “You see it, don’t you,” I say. She nods. I look back into the grass. It’s as though I’m flying into it. “We’re in the tunnel,” I tell her. “I always wondered how things would look when you’re time-traveling.” Suddenly a dark mood overtakes me. I realize then that I’m aging faster than everyone else at the party.
Joseph Hutchison, Colorado Poet Laureate 2014-2018, has published 17 books, including a translation of flash fictions by Mexican author Miguel Lupián, and co-edited two anthologies. He lives in the mountains southwest of Denver, Colorado, the city where he was born. He teaches at the University of Denver's University College, where he currently directs two programs: Arts & Culture and Global Affairs.