Poetry

Sometimes I hear it ticking

Sometimes I hear it ticking:
Gentle, rhythmic, persistent,
Inexplicable.
 
Other sounds I know,
the voices of the house chorus:
computer chair squeaks,
furnace clears its throat,
dog breathes heavily,
ice cubes crash and then
the hum of refilling begins.

Water bubbles in faucets
or rushes through pipes.
Radiators clang and whistle.
 
But what is that ticking?
 
It starts without warning,
without reference or invitation,
tick, tick,  tick, tick,
the emphasis evenly placed.
 
I track it, perplexed.
It stops again,
tantalizing.
 
I close my eyes,
try to remember;
have I seen the sound I hear?
 
Can I feel it in a memory?
 
Tick, tick, tick, tick.
It starts again,
and I am close enough.
 
I find a game timer
carefully put away
in its red box,
waiting for a holiday night
or a vacation evening,
For liberation and play
 
Until then, it reminds me,
The clock, too, will tick,
Gentle, rhythmic, persistent.

6 thoughts on “Sometimes I hear it ticking”

  1. I couldn’t help but feel this poem with my whole body– that sense of straining the ears, leaning into & searching the silence of a place… unsettling, but wonderfully written!
    (and please forgive me, but, through the filter of my own experience, I confess this poem was an echo of biological chronometry.)

  2. I started listening to the voices of my house. I remember the silence of the house during our 13 days of electricity-lessness.

  3. what a wonderful, evocative poem! I’ll be listening more closely to the tickings and the heartbeats of my home and life.

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