And then my watch stopped, but not
Like a crashing car or a rabbit caught by a fox.
No drama in this crisis.
The hands slid to a graceful halt,
Worn down by time and friction.
My elderly neighbour had an elderly Aston Martin
Parked in a garage and never driven again.
He would glance at the garage
And glance at his watch
And say ‘You need a light heart
‘To drive one of those.
‘Now it is weighed down by grease and gravity.’
Though whether it was his heart or the car I never asked,
Even though I bought the round.
But it sold, and sold well,
Unlike the house, which hung around for years.
We sat beneath the oak tree and watched his roses grow
While the shadows of discarded machinery
Marched across the lawn.
Time has a language of its own, I’ve heard,
With hard words like ‘Never’ and ‘Enough’,
Soft words like ‘Maybe’ and ‘Again’.
Healing words, like ‘Bind up’ and ‘Embrace’,
Cutting words, like ‘Told you so,’ and ‘Stop’.
The language that everything learns as it grows old;
The earth tells it to the oak,
The oak tells it to its leaves.
My neighbour, I reckon, taught it to his car.
But my watch had to learn it for itself.
Edward Alport is a retired teacher and proud Essex Boy. He occupies his time as a gardener and writer for children. He has had poetry published in a variety of webzines and magazines. When he has nothing better to do he posts snarky micropoems on Twitter as @cross_mouse. He moderates the monthly @ThePoetryFloor poetry event on Twitter.