Analog Time

Flowers 1

By Tamara Madison

Your new watch can tell
what time it is right down
to the second, the split second.
Your new watch has no face;
instead there’s a blinking grill
where the numbers change
constantly. I would like to say
that in this rapid split-second
parade we can see the flow
of time — always changing,
never changing, a river slipping
over rocks and sand – but it’s
only time, a human concept
after all, not a real river.
Your new watch honors
each second by giving it
its own number which tumbles
swiftly away, anchoring us,
if we let it, in Now.

Still I prefer the grace
of the analog clock
with its face, its hands,
where every moment
is linked to those around it:
each moment has a history
and a future, where it’s
ten past the hour, half past,
a quarter till, five of, as though
each moment is truly part
of a fluid whole. But in fact
the real tellers of time
are the sun, the sky,
the wrinkles on our faces,
the bruises on our souls.

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