Final Job (poem)

I write a lot about clocks.

Final Job

And the old grandfather clock muttered
a phrase unheard for centuries, a collection
of words that made the rest of the house
shiver all the way down to its slab foundation—
In eschewing the worst, the worthless blood spilled
has no place to call home and so pools sadly about
the feet of the poor who find it impossible to escape.

Outside the vexed house, dogs cocked their heads,
cat ears pricked to triangle attention, and the formerly
living twisted in the dirt in quick, acute discomfort,
their mouths forming black syllables of wonderment
and fear and nothinghaspreparedusforthiswhyarewethinking.
Those breathing hospitable air were dull and unaware
that the clock had spoken in the forever empty house.

The old grandfather clock rested for the last time, knowing
its final job—gearish, pendulous, timely–was at hand.

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