The Brass Clock

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Created in a factory in France

For the Russian market

You were shipped to Bessarabia

Where Bubbas and Zeders admired

Your shiny brass, your wall of glass

Your spinning cogwheels

And your French cachet.

You marked their days and weeks

The lighting of the samovar

Kindling of Sabbath candles.


When Abraham journeyed to a distant land

You traveled with him

Took your place on a Whitechapel mantel.

Your tick tock lulled the births

Of Mark, David, Annie, Isaaac, Phil,

And little Minnie,

Told the times for shul and bar mitzvah.

You showed the midnight hour

When Phil eloped

With sweet sixteen Polish Perel.


Like many an immigrant

You moved on to the suburbs

And when at last the patriarch closed his eyes

And sons in sequence chose a keepsake--

One the silver samovar

Another the Sabbath candlesticks--

You were left to Philip

A permanent reminder of his junior status.


Abraham, Isaac, Grandpa

Have passed away long since,

You still keep perfect time

On an Ipswich dresser

Marking days and weeks

As you always did.

One day your hands will spin back seven hours

And Sabbath lights will sparkle on your brass

In Turtle Island.




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    This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on September 20, 2010 12:12 PM.

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