Thursday Poem

The Clock

With only one story to tell, the clock strikes
a monotonous note, irrespective of how
musical the bell, how gilded the chimes
its timely conclusions report through.
Time literally on hands, it informs you
to your face exactly where you stand
in relation to your aspirations, stacks up
the odds against your long-term prospects,
leaves your hopes and expectations checked.
Keeping track of time to the last second, it gives
the lie to all small talk about your reputedly
youthful looks, sees through the subterfuge
of dyed hair, exposes the stark truth beneath
the massaged evidence of smooth skin.

by Dennis O'Driscoll
from Reality Check
Copper Canyon Press, 2008