Napo 18

My brain fog is gone, thanks to some vitamins, some caffeine, and a run. So I was able to come back to write another poem draft to catch up a little. Yesterday's prompt was to make the abstract feeling of grief concrete. I really haven't experienced profound grief, but B has.

The Gold Watch

I don’t know when the gold watch stopped—
It sits, tucked into the darkness of the cupboard,
No longer catching the rays of sunlight,
Telling him the time,
Or clanking on the dinner table
As he ate his dinner. Once, its face looked up,
Met the curious eyes, or the worried eyes
On a Monday afternoon, or the languid eyes
On a Sunday morning, or the tired, bloodshot eyes
After one too many martinis. Now it collects dust.
The time reads 7:56. I wonder if it stopped
In the morning, or in the evening, it’s gold hands
Showing the way cryptically. I wonder if the gold watch
Felt the moment the pulse
I wonder if this gold watch went cold,
how it felt to feel the heat of that old man’s body
escape from it for the last time.
I wonder who removed it from the limp wrist with care.
He was buried with a naked wrist,
a wrist I never saw naked.
I didn’t have the courage to touch the cold hand
or even look down at that wrist without a watch,
because time becomes irrelevant to the dead,
But to us, the living, it means everything.
His heart stopped. The watch kept ticking for awhile,
As if to urge you to go on, too. But even watches die
Without care. And somehow, that watch
Ended up in your pocket, warmed by your palm
After the funeral, but you never could let it embrace
Your wrist. Your wrist is so much smaller than his was,
I know. You tucked that gold watch away
into the bathroom cupboard with the expired medication,
cotton balls, a sealed pregnancy test. Grief is
The dead gold watch you never wear.