AF (1964 / Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, UK)

Second Hand Prague

The clock’s renown
Draws crowds
Into the old town’s
It does not
Miss a beat
Six centuries on

They come to see
Not oddly
intricate machinery
bohemian antiquity
something astrological
in matters horological
urbane aristocracy
in municipal clockery.

Or even
Jesus and his wisemen
And skeletal tolls for Turks.

But on the hour
They gather round
The Old Town tourists
and the stags
and drunks
to witness time preserved
to watch that which
we make no more
Almost the last
Perhaps the best
of the remaining stock:
A clock.

(I wait upon the crowd
And find
within the wonder watching there
much to admire)

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Comments (2)

this is absolutely stunning. great work!
Delightful and wry! I love the ending! Several years ago our family stood around with hundreds of other tourists in Rottenberg to watch the old clock. After it happened, our kids called it The Rottenberg Rip-Off. We were the characters in your last four lines! Cheers ~~~ Linda