Finding a Broken Clock on North Whitcomb


Bach fugues, August storm coming

And I think of the vintage cherry clock I found

Today on its back, with trash along the road–

Someone threw it out to stop time:

Nice try.


No one can do that, arrest the day, hold the light:

All angels are on standby while we

Take the dog down to the water,

Revive the garden, recover

From harsh words

Over a cat tottering around

At death’s doorstep.


Do you see how she,

Fading fast, is proof

That we need clocks with no hands?


Trinity Church’s organ peals out eternity

And leaf-spare branches

Scratch the window:

Open all the doors.

Let us all agree on what time it is

And file in to take our place;


Ring all of the bells–.

Take the grandfather clocks down to the bay

And scuttle them.


We have had fair warning:

Where we had wedding cake and dancing

Nightfall, owls calling

Who was here? —

More crisp and vagrant stars.