Poems of the Week

All Wound Up

by Julia Griffin

“Edgar Allan Poe’s pocket watch among donations to museum”
The Guardian

Once within my mournful mansion, while I cursed my choice of scansion
With my face against my pillow and my clothes upon the floor—
While I burrowed, semi-sleeping, suddenly there came a beeping
As of someone smugly cheeping, cheeping like a total bore.
“’Tis some nightmare,” I protested, “’tis 6:30, I am sure!”
Quoth the timepiece: “8:04.”

Then this witchy watch compelling my sad fancy into yelling
By the self-important aspect it rebarbatively wore,
“Though your face be scratched and glassy, thou,” I said, “art bold and brassy;
Would thou wert in Tallahassee and myself in Elsinore!
Do not tell me what your name is, we have not the least rapport.”
Quoth the timepiece: “9:04.”

And that timepiece, eardrum-stinging, still is pinging, still is pinging
On the grimy undergarments that adorn my chamber floor;
And its tone has all the beauty of an owl’s that’s extra-hooty—
Nothing delicate or fluty—and my very brain is sore;
Though I know it’s still 6:30, in a voice I can’t ignore
Quoth the timepiece: “10:04 …”