by Dan Campion
Black, glossy squares of tile set off
the window of the jewelry shop,
inside which navy velvet shows
off opals, diamonds, pearls, and gold.
The neighborhood supports one store
where you can get a watch repaired,
and while you’re there survey the trays
of wedding and engagement rings,
a vitrine filled with Bulovas
and Elgins, and a stray Longines.
The old man screws his jeweler’s loupe
into his eye as if to find
inside an ailing watch’s case
a cure for colds, lost times,
the spring that gives eternal youth.
He scrutinizes wheels and pins
and ratchets—God knows what’s in there,
its watchwork universe wound down—
and looks up, shakes his head, and frowns.
It needs a cleaning, and a bridge
he’s got to call the factory for,
if even they still have the part.
He says to come back in a week.
And then it’s noon, and every clock
that still can toll the hours chimes.
Read the Backstory
Dan Campion’s poems have also appeared in Poetry, Rolling Stone, and many other magazines, and he coedited Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, whose third edition came out last spring.