Winston Churchill's Pocket Watch
Winston Churchill’s Pocket Watch
by Laura Summerville Reed
I can see the back of my head
with my own hands.
I take its inventory from a distance.
I mustn’t get too close and let you notice.
You think you’re the only one watching me.
Don’t want to steal your thunder later
when you let me know my ass was out of line.
(I’ll go get that fixed and a tune-up, too!)
I see the back of my head
with my fingers, I can stick them in.
There are dark spots and holes
where the pieces used to fit.
A puzzle, garnering puzzled glances
(My cat and the neighbors are starting to compare notes.)
With surgical precision
I cut that tortured pound of flesh free
and left the other one hundred and four
to bleed out.
The blood loss is going to keep me here
so I’ll stand my ground
until the paper airplanes fly it all away.
Make me an offer
I can't refuse.
I'm a practical girl
When I’m practically speaking.
Oh! But how that glare amuses me when the dark spots speak up,
(hand me a band-aid, I think I’ve cut myself.)
I once had something valuable to barter with.
The secret ingredient.
A small treasure.
The Philosopher’s Stone.
(There’s just no substitute for real butter.)
I wore it upon me
Like Winston Churchill's pocket watch
Ticking off the years by seconds.
I've lived so long in the rose petals that you brought me
I never thought to learn
To tend a garden of my own.
Now I’m standing on the tarmac of Ill-Prepared
And the gate’s already closed.
All the written rules and times and dates were very clearly posted.
There are dandelions pushing through this cracked asphalt,
(But Winston Churchill’s pocket watch stopped ticking; how was I to know?)