Katie found it hard learning to tell time.
“Look at the numbers,” her mother would say. “Clockwise. The hand goes from one to two…” But Katie didn’t see why the hands couldn’t turn the other way—why “before” always had to be so inexorably different from “after.”
Her grandfather gave her his watch when she was seven—silver, finely engraved, and labeled with Roman numerals. But they buried him today, the late great astrophysicist.
Katie watches her children play, and turns the metal hands back year by year… till two seven-year-olds stand, building castles to the stars, seventy-seven years ago.