Carol Ann Duffy's "Mean Time" is a poem about heartache, regret, and the relentless passage of time. The poem's speaker, mourning a recent breakup, walks down a dark, rainy street in the middle of autumn, after the clocks have been turned back for daylight savings time. The speaker laments their inability to wind the clocks back even further in order to undo a bitter argument with their former lover. Instead, they know that the days are only going shorter and the nights longer—a reflection of their own inescapable sorrow. Duffy published "Mean Time" in her 1993 poetry collection of the same name.