The Difference between Habit and Desire

It stands, has stood
for years in the corner
of the parlor,

that room updated now
to something less formal, a rumpus room
a den, call it what you will

the clock is there
standing as if that corner
were its birthright

imperial, impervious
and we fear it
the clock is not a god

it is not even a demon
though that
is harder to remember

tick, tock is not a language
the mainspring is not a brain
it is a mechanism

it needs no food
no vintage libation
some linseed oil will keep it

from cracking
an occasional pull
of its weighted chain

will keep it chiming
don’t mistake this constancy
for loyalty

nor its accuracy
for devotion — it is a product
of its making

it controls time
no more than a yardstick
controls distance

if the clock were gone
the corner would be empty
but time would not stop

Still there are times
I’d like to hold its hands
still

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6 thoughts on “The Difference between Habit and Desire

  1. Something so timeless about time passing. Another wonderful poem, Sarah! Whenever I finally get over here, I realize I should do so every chance I get. Your poetry is at the top of my favorite. XO ❤

  2. Diane,

    Your kindness gives me energy to keep trying.
    Thank you so very much for your kind words,
    for your thoughtfulness and for the wonderful
    talent you share at your blog. One of my prized
    possessions is your book “A Friendship with Flowers”.
    I love your novels; they captivate, but A Friendship
    with Flowers is like a field guide to summer’s wild blooms.
    It is a work of art!

    Sarah

  3. Jane Thorne

    I used to daydream that I could stop time…your poem resonates with that dream…what a beautiful piece Sarah, thank you. Hugs and much ❤

  4. Jane,

    Thank you! As I get older (and older, and older) I am amazed at how few hours
    there are in a day. They pass by so quickly. They are full and lovely but they
    travel on fleet feet.

    Hugs,
    Sarah

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