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As I Stilled The Clock

Home | What it means | Poetry

Wednesday Prose Poem: what we leave untouched

Lost it on the way up from the basement. Could have been the third or fourth step. Could have been in the small slot where we kept the key and a flashlight so no one tumbled down. Only it did.

Must have. Slipped from my hands as I was carrying up wood for the fire. Carrying up old sheets to cover the chairs and sofa. Bringing up memories from a childhood that I longed to have over again. Just for a moment. Just to remind me of who I was when it all started.

Full of light. Full of giggles and dreams and hiding in closets, where no monsters lived. When hide and seek was just a game — not preparation for adulthood.

The wood in the fireplace burned easily. Smoke that threatened to drift out into the room, finally being pulled up the aging flue as flames danced from log to log.

I watched — eyes toward the flames, mind drifting back to a radio playing loudly. Voices raised in the old kitchen as grandma spoke Italian and reddened with frustration as the words flew all around us — but never made sense.

Never connecting the present with the future, she seemed so intent on warning us about. Her eyes seeing small children without concerns — as her mind drifted back to her own parents and their dreams. Their uncertain connection to a future that was just too far away.

I rose from the chair and covered the furniture. Put a black cloth over the clock and I stilled the pendulum. Turned the photographs face down and for a moment, let the images that filled that room — fill my mind and my heart and shred the remaining wisps of grief that lingered still.

I was leaving. Home was gone now. Lost to the ravages of time. To those who took it away piece by piece until there was nothing left but the quiet.

I will miss it. The sounds of love. The warmth of bread baking. The sing-song of laughter that filled the house and each of us.


Joe Luca

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