Sunday, October 9, 2016

My grandmother and the wristwatch

My grandmother refused to wear a wristwatch
she said that only God kept track of time in our lives 
marking these with a rising sun here and a wave pulled 
by the moon there, at its own pace

my grandmother refused to wear a wristwatch
yet often gave me ones on various occasions
because she believed we are not keepers of time 
but holders of pointers to make possible the days 

my grandmother refused to wear a wristwatch but gave me 
a few for the markers of my own time: 
childhood birthdays, a mixture of leather and barbie plastic 
teenage high school graduation a tint of silver for better years 

end of college, gold to wrap around the antique wrinkles I developed 
carrying textbooks that hid into the 'shouldn't' 
the art of hiding is easy to manage 
like disapproving glances that turn into a head-nod 

like choosing to talk in a tongue older women did not 
approve of because they didn't understand
that the skids in this language and that 
make me more aware of the pitfalls of the lies 

lifted between two cups of coffee:
one for goodbye and one for welcoming 
but this is not a story or a space for these thoughts 
it is a lesson in secrets of wristwatches

how we give undeserving people gifts that make 
them more deserving, just to keep time 
my grandmother refused to wear a wristwatch
but made sure I wore mine to know exactly when I was due 
to pay her a visit.   

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