By: William Ogden Haynes
Today I found my father’s old wristwatch.
The battery was finally dead, although it probably lasted
about a year longer than he did, dependably counting
the minutes in case someone wanted to glance at the correct time.
But in the darkness of the dresser drawer buried under
old cuff links, unused handkerchiefs, glasses and tie clasps,
no one ever cared to look at the movement of the hands
beneath the crystal he was always so careful not to scratch.
And no one wanted to see him run down like an unwound
grandfather clock losing more time each day,
gears slowing, springs slackening, pendulum decelerating
with weights approaching the end of their chains.
The nurses told me that during the day he would repeatedly
look at his watch, as if expecting a visitor, an event
in the dining room or delivery of medication.
And if anyone asked about the hour, he would always give
them the time, but precious few of us had the time for him.
William Ogden Haynes is a poet and author of short fiction from Alabama who was born in Michigan and grew up a military brat. He has published three collections of poetry (Points of Interest; Uncommon Pursuits and Carvings) and one book of short stories (Youthful Indiscretions) all available on Amazon.com. Over a hundred and twenty of his poems and short stories have appeared in literary journals and his work is frequently anthologized.