• Grandfather Clock

    by Lawrence Haggquist

    History unfolding,
    like a dinner napkin on the lap of time,
    the world evolving,
    beyond the days when Tasmanian tigers prowled their way to extinction,
    through dust bowl doldrums when your pendulum stopped swinging for a time
    and moved West on wagon wheels with the rest
    of all they could salvage.
    Relishing the days of youth
    when champagne spilled freely from flutes
    and your brass belly swung just as freely,
    like the gold locket from the bridesmaid’s neck
    when she did the Charleston.
    They packed you up for a while,
    and some even thought you were dead.
    like Havisham’s ensemble,
    tangled in cobwebs
    abeyant near a decaying cake.
    You missed out on the Twist.
    Didn’t have time for the Gold Rush either.
    A relic, defunct, departed…

    Until after Grandma died
    when they found you in her attic
    peeled the dusty blanket from your aged frame
    and brought you back to our “chateau” in suburbia
    where Mom and Dad wedged you in the corner
    next to the CD tower from Walmart.

    You stand there like a soldier at attention,
    awkward in our living room
    chin-tucked
    pilasters at your sides
    thumbs on pant seams
    too tall for everything
    tic-tocking your way through
    a re-run of Married with Children,
    or maybe Three’s Company

    while I lick Dorito cheese powder from my fingers
    and philosophize from the sofa
    how the hypnotic swing of your pendulum
    reminds me of the tide
    and, somehow, of Matt Arnold
    sitting on Dover Beach
    or spaghetti sauce on a dinner napkin.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on May 6, 2011

    Topics: Young Writers' Corner

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