Board & Care Clock

My mother tells me she needs a clock,
is unsure of the time when she wakes

after a late afternoon nap ever since
she’s been in this place. I tell her, look

look up there—point to the clock, round,
clear as her grandchildren’s faces,

show her the second hand, how it ticks
on the wall above the TV, but she says, no,

she doesn’t like that clock, wants a smaller,
more intimate clock to sit beside like a friend

in the park. She wants time to be hers alone,
like the chocolates I bring she won’t share

with the other ladies in hats who sit politely,
all dying for the same thing: a reason to care

what time it is as the seconds gather like dots
on an Impressionist painting, grey, shadowy

soft edges of intermingling minutes, creating
the illusion of color, light, the culmination of life.


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