Clock Wise

They were traditional

retirement gifts

after a long working life.

I never understood.

Perhaps the first time

it was given in irony,

an employer with a quirky sense of humour,

but then it caught on and became traditional.

I remember the one given to my father.

It was brown

all brown

with cream numbers and fingers.

It sat dismally on our mantelpiece

ticking away morosely

long after his death.

As I child I used

the glass as a mirror,

a smiling face, a funny face,

or a gurning face.

My faces livened it up a bit

but I left it behind

when mother died.


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