Once upon several times
Shortly after the Big Bang, all the years were packed together.
They did not get along. The leap years were cliquish,
playing hopscotch and flaunting their extra days; the others
considered them freaks. The prehistoric years were loud,
inarticulate, and frankly, they smelled. Famine years
swarmed the buffet table and cleaned it out. A dispute
arose as to who was the most significant. The year
4004 B.C. refused to recognize any year older than she.
Election years made long speeches pushing their candidacies,
and accused their rivals of being un-Timely. The years that saw
the births or martyrdoms of religious leaders were too arrogant
to even debate the matter. The years of great wars and revolutions
argued with their fists. Finally one drab little, pasty little year
spoke up. "I'm the year," he said, "when the last wild thing dies,
and only civilization is left." The others fled from him in horror,
and haven't stopped running yet. And that's why you never see
more than two years come together, and then only at New Year's,
when they give one another a kiss, grateful
that bloodless one hasn't arrived yet.
-- Carl Bettis