Author's Note: Preparations for a first grand child—a perfect boy—consumed most of August as we waited for him to arrive at the end of the month. The first leaves started to fall and others hinted that Vermont will once again reliably flaunt its colors. So this poem about buying a very old clock...
Why Buy an Antique Mantel Clock
One that the owner, downsizing, says worked
twenty years ago when she last turned
the key. Maybe thirty.
Timepiece circa 1848, a gothic steeple
missing one hand. Faded instructions
glued inside on the needs of care.
An early brainstorm of alarm clock,
all brass works, signed by clockmakers
Brewster & Ingrahams, Bristol, CT.
Besides being $15, why would I want
it, having down-sized already.
For a clock that turns past each minute
with pointed hands, slow progress
from hour to hour, what I once knew
to be the stuttered way time moved.
Adding to my digital others, silent
like me, this one a gong that
may or may not toll reliably.
To become a child once more on a green
afternoon in the neighbors’ den waiting
for the next clang as a tornado threatened.
Harking back to when I too was surer
in my movements, I use the excuse
my grandson should learn signatures
of a patina-ed pendulum, gears, coils,
and vibrating sound. The see-saw
of escapement. Time that loosens
©2020 Tricia Knoll
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