A Drawerful of Time: An Observational, Story-telling Poem

drawer full of time1I was surprised when I opened the drawer
to see a crowd of watches
with frozen faces
staring back at me.
I felt as if I’d opened
a portal to another dimension,
another world —
The past. His past.

Ninety-six years worth of living
seemed to be sitting there,
still.
As I stood there in the silence,
I could hear the faint heart-beats
of a few of them
who didn’t want to let go
of the life wound in them.

Decades worth of living,
remembered by these timepieces
once perched on the end of his arm —
or hers.

How vulnerable and fragile and fleeting
is the space called time
that surrounds us as earth dwellers.
we value it too much.
we waste it too much.
we take it for granted too much.
it holds us too much.
We let go of it too much.
We don’t let go enough.

Day after day, the sun rises
and shadows and sunbeams
slowly move across the room
where the drawer full of time
lays hidden and closed yet
still ticking away —
in the empty room when no one is present,
in the hushed room when he sleeps,
in the tired room when he slowly moves through it —
their faint and fading heartbeats;
the frozen, broken faces
lay there next to one another
keeping company in the dark.

Today he spoke of his Scottish ancestors
recalling their simple way of life;
“They worked hard
and did what was needed
without complaining”.
Then pausing, he gathered
the history within his chest,
and said softly;
“I sure hope I don’t disappoint them.”
And the little boy seemed to appeared
for a moment in time
with this present-tense devotion
to his parents and his parent’s parents
Who are all long gone.
But while he waits for the reunion,
the legacy they left him
was also left through him —
upon their children’s great, great, great grandchildren
whom they never met.

And someday when his casket, too, is closed
and the drawer full of time
is finally emptied and given away
to perhaps sit quietly
in a ragged box in an antique store —
Until the last tick fades away
into the fullness of time.

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StoefflerArtStudio

I'm an artist, writer and follower of Jesus. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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