5 O'Clock Shadows
When he died, no one told me.
Why would they, I had not seen him in years?
Yet that day, he kept walking in and out
of my mind’s eye.
I wondered why?
“The world ends at 5 O’clock”.
His voice rang in my ears.
Two tortured Nostradamus parables
fluttered-by like migrating Hooper Cranes.
“I recall looking at my watch, and seeing only
the sun turning around a scarab beetle.
I remember asking a running man
how he was timing his race? The runner was
too busy running to answer.
When I turned around to catch up with myself -
I was gone”
His words scurried through my head
like white mice. I wondered why?
Then I thought of the nursery rhyme,
and the farmer’s wife and her carving knife;
the blind mice running.
The house was by now, ticking like
a Mayan calendar. A dry terracotta ticking,
without any glass cover
to keep his voice from getting louder.
"The world ends at 5 O’clock,”
I wondered about that some more,
That evening he left my mind empty
as if it had been a fortune telling booth
he had rented for the day.
I could not recall his name,
and even his face was just a clock
in a Salvador Dali painting.
Of course, I never knew he was dead,
I just heard what he said, and
I wonder why?
Copyright © Eric Ashford | Year Posted 2019
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