The Old Clock

The old clock chimes in my brother’s house,
just as it chimed
in my fathers,
just as it chimed
in my grandfathers,
just as it chimed
in my great grandfathers.
Its painted metal face implacable
as it viewed the history of our family
across continents,
states, towns, streets.
Long dead hands wound
the delicate balanced brass pendulum
as future hands will touch
its skillfully carved oaken case-
strong against the changing years,
weathering hard times
and passively enduring the good.
Holding in its ornately constructed hands
the minutes and hours of our days-
to chime in my brothers house
just as it will chime
in my nephews
just as it will chime
in the home of those yet born.
The old clock chimes.

5 thoughts on “The Old Clock

  1. They made things to last back then. Smiles. I can only imagine the life stories that old clock has witnessed, if only it could tell them. I love it when treasures are passed down in families, this way. I wonder…..did that clock ever make a trip in a covered wagon? I’ll bet it did.

  2. “Long dead hands wound / the delicate balanced brass pendulum” is beautifully rendered–using the clock as an image of passing along family tradition through the generations works wonderfully.

  3. I can’t find the link right now, but I recently read an article about how our things remind us of good memories and our families and the importance of that. I think it’s true. I have crystal from my paternal grandmother and my maternal great-grandmother (it came via my great-aunt, not my material grandmother). I keep them on my dresser and wash them from time to time. I just love having them because they remind me of the women who had them before me.


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