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.