a poetry e-zine

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Tony Howarth

Keepsake

 

1.

you wanted this to be a timeless moment

took off your watch and asked me to hold it

sloughing your coat, your shirt sleeves shoved

above your elbow, floating light-foot at eighty

round the billiard table, taking on a challenge

from a tough young stud, frame after frame

cueing him down to a frazzle, me laughing

and loving your once-in-a-blue-moon mischief

 

2.

polished your shoes and put on your tie before

rushing to the 7:32 and your job in the city

peering at your wrist to make sure there was time

for a quick drink the two of us together

get to the betting parlor to catch the horses

before they left the gate, check on the time remaining

each half of a soccer game, once you left it

at the doctor’s office and felt your world collapsing

 

3.

I rescued it from the chaos of your dementia

piled-up newspapers, never-opened mail

a kitchen faucet rusted shut, gummy nicotine

grime on the living room walls, in the bathroom

cupboard, mascara, lipstick congealed

into chunks left behind by wife number two

dead at least a dozen years, the grandfather

clock in the hallway standing steady at 6:27

 

4.

one day, I dropped it in the street and broke it

I knew it wasn’t built to last forever

but the bleakness all around me, in a bar

at a soccer game, near a kitchen faucet, time

slipped past me, I couldn’t touch my memories

an anxious month until the jeweler fixed it

only the crystal shattered, the gears intact

and again, on my wrist, ticking, ticking, every second

 

 

Tony Howarth, living in Patterson, N.Y., has worked as a journalist, for many years as a high school teacher of English, most recently as a playwright, with a dozen plays, a movie and two musicals to his credit, now, venturing into the world of poetry. His poems have appeared in Chronogram, Drown in My Own Fears, Pearl and The Naugatuck River Review.

Copyright 2012  Chantarelle's Notebook