The CSS Awards - Site of the Day

The Play of Clocks

Francine Rubin

"Clocks!" we warn our audience,

your mother seated on the waffled

carpet, your sister Tina shrouded by

Queen Isis's cloak, Raggedy Ann,

and Dunk the One-Eyed Monkey.


"Are you afraid of clocks?" we sing

above the huge sofa cushions safety-

pinned together, brocade backdrop 

of our stage. From her seat, the dots

on your mother's housedress glint.


Moving to the right and left wing,

two parallel oak kitchen benches,

we lift the scrim, a pale bed sheet,

revealing the brass anniversary clock,

four spheres spinning in time to music.


We coronate the clock, bestowing

a gold crown specked with jewels

as our jackhammer feet furiously

orbit the theater at our hips, our arms

picture frames around our heads.


"The day when time stands still!" 

we cry, then sing King Pisces' decree

to imprison straying girl bunnies,

the beautiful ones, an order always 

frightening because time has stopped.


Esmerelda, the most beautiful bunny,

lies on the stone ground at the top

of a marble tower.  Beyond the door

bolted with copper chains, six horses

on hind legs, armed with spears.


"She is the obstructor of time!" we yell,

forced to ring the silver bell

which forever suspends the seconds.

Sadness fills her stomach like a balloon

and her eyes fill with tears that never fall.

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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