Clock Watching
A bit of free verse

An old man

a WW2 survivor

leaned in and said

It’s not fair

A man needs 2000 years

to live his life

He’s gone now

you made sure of that

transformed into a name and date

on a stone marker

barely even a memory


I’m getting old

my mother whispered at forty-five

I wanted to tell her

don’t be daft

But what did I know?

Not more than the oppressive mirror

you held up for her


I’ve always been old

You embroidered it into my warp and weft

I hid in the simple pattern

hoping to escape your eye

Silly, I know

pretending in vain

that you hadn’t spotted me


You nudged me awake just now

two hours before my alarm

But you’ve been shadowing me

since the day I first remembered

Shears ready

do you measure me in minutes

hours or years?


You exasperate me

with your thieving ways

snatching the life I own

bit by bit

leaving me with a pocketful of anxiety

Haven’t you taken enough?

No, I guess not

not yet

Photo by Johannes Rapprich from Pexels


10 thoughts on “Clock Watching
A bit of free verse

    1. Sean D. Layton

      Thanks! I kept thinking of various mythologies where a woman with shears decides a person’s life span.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.