This is not a timepiece held by just any man.
His later life an escape to simple times and the bottle,
it graced the pocket of your father’s jeans
and marked the hours as he worked by your side,
toiling in farm fields after your mother’s death.
And later, it measured the hours of tavern time
till we would pick him up and drive to Aunt Ginny’s,
his home in his last years far from those fields,
never recovering from his loss. Measuring
his life, short as it was, it passed to you,
its black shoestring of a watch chain lasting
even through the years it served you. It passed
from your hands to mine, a reminder
of the hard years of your youth, a witness
to the life you achieved through hours of hard work,
a testament to the power of time to heal.
This poem is my response to Poetics:Object Poems, the prompt from Mish at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem beginning with “This is not a ______” and centered around an every day object, sparing the details of the object and instead showing the connection that it has made or what it represents.
Image: the pocket watch that once belonged to my grandfather, and then my father.
Within my hand lies the gift of time,
from your father to you, and now to me.
When I pass it on, this pocket watch
will hold the lives of three generations.
A simple watch. So thought the jeweler.
“I can clean it, but it’s probably not worth
repairing. It’s only seven jewels.”
But it keeps time, and it continues to hold time.
Its true value lies in those three generations.
The “chain” is a testament to that,
made by the hands that first held it.
A simple black shoelace for a simple watch.
My grandfather’s pocket watch was handed down to my father, and then to me.
It’s fitting that this working man’s watch made in 1898 hangs from a worn black shoelace.
(Research shows that it has 15 jewels.)
The prompt for Day 20 of National/Global Poetry Month at napowrimo.net is to write a poem about a homemade or handmade gift you received.
Etched into the surface of a pocket watch once held by my grandfather, and then his son, a cabin under the shade of a tall tree sits on the bank of a stream. Worn smooth in places, and sitting now in my hand, the gold case speaks of simpler times, its voice carrying across the years, conveying the value of a hard day’s work.
hands within to mark the time
held within each day