Thursday, 16 March 2017
Just as I was about to leave
my father said, ‘Now,’ in his emphatic way,
‘move this clock to where I can see it.
It’s important I can see the time.’
So I moved the alarm clock,
with its large, uncluttered face
and cracked, sellotaped housing
onto his bedside table.
When I returned the next day
he had been moved to another ward
to drift into that drowsy place
between life and death.
His eyes were shut and for a time
I held his hand and listened to his
laboured, stertorous breathing,
and noticed that a kind nurse
had moved the clock, together with
his false teeth, and had
arranged them on the cubical
next to his bed.
And I wondered idly at what time
the time had ceased to be
important to him – and he
closed his eyes for ever.
© Tim Scott
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