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.
Published online August 30 2016.
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.