Someone tore the hands off a big round clock, familiar 

as a classroom clock & abandoned it in the weeds 

beside the river. It took the time right out of us. Our time 

poured into the small black circle in the clock’s 

centre & seeped underground into the river. 

We didn’t miss it the way we’d miss our own hands, 

it was a blessing to watch the hours & minutes 

drain away. That sudden calm when time 

disappears, the atmosphere thick with fish & bird 

& bug busy-ness, the glare of springtime green. 

If you spoke right into that empty hole, it would 

hold your words & breathe them back to you 

in the practical prose of granite & bridge, 

in bird vowels, cloud song, river.

Maureen Hynes’s book is a past winner of the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. Her fourth book of poetry, The Poison Colour, was released from Pedlar Press in fall 2015. Her work has been widely anthologized and included in or longlisted for Best Canadian Poems in English 2010 and 2011. Maureen is poetry editor for Our Times magazine.