Our mantle clock, when it needs winding,
goes faster, as if it knows there is
little time left and much to do.
I, who have been running down for years,
plod mindlessly onward, forcing
into each day what little my allotment
of energy allows, knowing too well
there is no key to wind me up,
no battery to be recharged.
Yet each of us serves a purpose,
neither knowing exactly when the last knell
will sound, doing our best to complete
our perceived duty in the time
remaining. Like the clock, tolling slowly
while struggling to accelerate,
I am emboldened by the knowledge
time is a device of man
existing only in the mind.
Jean, at 82, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She currently publishes, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org