Day Six: "Ninety Years Without Slumbering"

Ninety Years Without Slumbering

The man turned breaths mechanical,
counted grandfather clock hours
as others might count heartbeats.
He said that his years and days
would end when the warm ticks
inside the oak body quieted, when
the pendulum’s oscillations finally
slowed to nothing, hung silent
behind finely polished glass,
but with his clock’s inevitable
failure he learned the limits
of superstitions, the way our minds
make their own bright illusions
before our eyes when we so desire.
We think we can explain the world
to ourselves, but worlds slip
from our grasp like lost time—
there is no certainty in the gears
we house in wooden boxes,
the supposed assurance rung
out of every mellifluous chime.


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