Time Travelers Check Your Baggage

By Owen Lorion

Time travelers check your baggage, please. The T.S.A. regrets

Some things you can’t take with you, that everyone forgets.

No trade-tech not invented by your destination day,

And memory wipes of numbers, so the lotto you can’t play.


Though Temporal Safety Agency bids you a safe trip,

The rules of fate are steady, they never even slip.

You won’t be like the natives of the time-frame where you’re bound;

They all have free agency and freely move around.


But you will be predestined by the iron hand of fate,

Your destiny determined ‘fore you enter chronospace.

You’ll be much like a robot, of yourself you’ve no control;

You cannot alter history, no, nor save a single soul.


You can not murder anyone, your grandpa nor your dad.

You cannot murder Hitler; we know that makes you sad.

You can only watch things happen, you cannot interact;

You can not change whatever was, the past must stay intact.


There are no hidden loopholes, no bribes that you can pay.

This is not a legislation that someone can vote away.

It’s inviolate law of nature, like gravity or light.

You can’t screw up while tripping, you just cannot make things right.


There are many ways to go back, just as drive or walk or fly.

It really doesn’t matter, we’ve already told you why.

You might be disembodied, like an insubstantial ghost,

You might see through some native’s eyes, but can’t alert your host.


The favored way is bodily, although it’s quite a trick

To set coordinates in time, then give a switch a click.

Although your vidcam’s with you, and recordings come back home,

It’s only an illusion that you really, freely roam.


Every move you make while you’re embedded in the past

Is what’s already happened; the die’s already cast.

So stow all thought of changing some unwanted heritage.

Leave those plans ahead here please, time travelers, check your baggage.