“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” — Zora Neale Hurston


when i realized how fast a year went by,

i wanted to lock myself in a time machine,

jam the spare key into the lock,

dare anyone with a clock to come and get me.


i’ve learned that a new day is just like new money.

it can’t be shortchanged. you have to pay

the price and it never goes on sale.


maybe a year is a grandmother—

a warm and gentle reminder

that the most valuable assets in life

are not here forever.


sometimes a year is a rescuer.

sometimes a cruel crook.

sometimes it suffocates you

in the routine of it all,

cutting off your oxygen.


bad days ain’t nothing but band-aids.

reminders that you are still here.

that your scars mean you are stronger.

that your wounds mean there is light inside of you.


i have time on speed dial.

some years it’s saved under “Famine.”

some years it’s saved under “Fantasy.”

other years “Fuck-Ups.”


maybe a year is an ocean.

maybe a year is a passing storm.

maybe a year is a hug or kiss.

a stare.

a touch.

maybe an unfiltered picture.

maybe a becoming.


my best days feel like Summer 16’.

when i am floating in the maze of euphoria

and every minute feels like a Drake album

with no skips.


ask me what i’ve learned

and i’ll tell you 365 days is an eternity.

that making it back home each day

is the underdog we need on our team.

so don’t tell me you messed up

when every day comes with a new starting line

to run your race.


i’m old enough to understand now

that people come and go like feelings

which means my heart is a highway

interstate for high speed chases.

so buckle in your seatbelt

adjust your mirrors and breath.

a year is a scenic route that ain’t all simple,

ain’t all pain either.

The exit is called Beauty.


Wallace Lane is a teacher, poet, writer and author from Baltimore and a creative in residence at The Baltimore Banner.

Wallace Lane is part of The Baltimore Banner's Creatives in Residence program, which amplifies the work of artists and writers from the Baltimore region.

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