Wednesday, February 13, 2013

To Time His Last Hours

To Time His Last Hours

Its been thirty years now
Hasn’t it?
Been that long
Since that old woman said

“My grandfather’s clock?
No, not today.
Yet, any day
But sooner I guess I must believe.

It will be yours
And you must get it
They take it

After they’ve taken
And be leaving my grandfather’s clock

“It does not work”
She told me
“And has not for years.”
Pointing to the “dial”

With the limp hands folded
At six thirty

The movement
That are ‘the clock’s works’
She calls them
In the box on the attic floor
“They must be”.

“Tried to get it fixed
Sometime someone
Must have maybe
Mother did.”

“Don’t know
But beens that way
Now since I a
Child I guess”.

Her not Grandfather
But his great, great,
Great grandfather’s.
Must have been him

Who after the war
And a sea captain
At home
From coastal trading

Traded his coin
After a tavern keep.
He wandered in
And found that movement

By one man’s hand
In a case by a second man’s
Hand for sale
And it a bigger grandee then he

Being punch bowl drunk
And reminded of his mate
Swept off the deck; his friend
Lost at sea

And of his boy now
Ten years dead by
“Killed in the woods”;
A tree.

So wandered home He
With this clock lashed
To his deck to time
His last hours and

For his wife
Who thought it
An odd gift instead
Of pearls like once before.

“My mother’s pearls” she
Once showed me.
“No.  Never.  For sale.

Her great, great.
Great grandmother’s pearls.
But I say nothing
And wait out the years.

To one day be the
Carrier carrying the movement
Box and
Two - I found them separated - weights

Out the front door
To follow the
Clock case that I’d
Removed the face and hands

From carefully
Keeping the hands in my
Shirt pocket upon
My heart

Where they should have
Themselves kept them
But a daughter again tells me
“It does not work”

And is holding the small
Old paper box
With the pearls that are
Still “No.  Never.  For sale.  Ever.”

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