Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Passage of Time

by Robert Nisbet

His shop in the arcade Ron called
The Passage of Time. As you went in
you saw a hundred timepieces, alarm clocks,
carriage clocks and digitals,
watches in cabinets, time banked high.
Seeing that cog-wheeling certainty
I wondered at the way that Ron,
through every second of each eight-hour day,
would know, click-ticked, brain-deep,
the time, the time, the time.

For a while one summer, I helped him out.
And he’d say, each day, leaving Pearl in charge,
Mid-morning coffee, John? Time for our break?
I started to log the times.
11.25        11.38        11.33
Around eleven-thirty. Mid-morning-ish.
And later in the day, he’d say, Time
to start packing up. I logged these too.
5.18        5.22        5.15
Quarter to twenty past. Roughly.

O Ron, I saw your full achievement then,
such joy in the approximate,
your days’ emancipation,
proof now against the clocks’ harsh trek,
proof too against the scurrying of time.

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