Grandfather Clock

Written for my grandfather, whose diligence and peace with himself while in his workshop left an imprint on my childhood mind. Whenever I’m in need of quiet inside myself, I focus on these memories.

“I wait among shadows, among smells of old leather
Where bees wax and boot polish mingle and blend
To settle my nervy excitement and hold back
My twitching young fingers from straying too near

The small golden crescent of lamplight dethrones
The darkness from seating itself in his place
Of workman repose and silent production
With small ticking arms and shining clock face.

His dexterous fingers dance with a spidery
Grace and intelligence so seldom seen
Among men of his age and endurance in living
But Grandfather breathes with the breath of a trade

A collector of watches and clocks in his time
As a jeweler and husband, a father and man
Of travels cross country and through many homes
Where his head lay on pillows of feather or straw

But settled is he in a workshop of cobwebs
Of dust and old tools, where the mice come and go
And here shall I stand in my corner and wait
For the memories that fragment to follow me home.”

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