Michael Jennings

Ordinary things

It seemed quite ordinary —
except that nothing is —
the wrist watch fallen from your arm,
now lying by the bed.
A wristwatch, born like me and you,
of a molten rock flung around the sun,
grandchild of the cataclymsmic bang,
child of the Father of Mysteries.
What can we know of its strange history,
of the cogitations of watchmakers,
shopkeepers, ladies with mops?
What transformations will your constituents
undergo in the eons to come?

The slurred hello when you awoke,
its meaning known only from experience,
and mere silence but for hearing,
although nothing is ever lost.
Did the housefly lighting on the window pane
interpret its vibrations
and change the course of its activities?

In your sleep, wrapped in that ancient Winceyette,
what other world did you visit,
to return with a tattered coded message
written on a dream?

And I, placing your watch
on the chipboard bedside table,
am I, perhaps, no more than a solidified dream
touching your cheek,
part of a skein of myriad threads across the ages
which drew us together in this ordinary,
extraordinary room?

Michael Jennings is an ex-cartographer, ex-teacher and failed novelist who became a Catholic in 1980 after twenty years of dithering. His poetry has been published in Acumen.

Michael Jennings is an ex-cartographer, ex-teacher and failed novelist who became a Catholic in 1980 after twenty years of dithering. His poetry has been published in Acumen.