The Vanwoman Called

The ticker was skipping beats
when the vanwoman called,
swept past me with her blue toolbox,
a grunt of greeting as she headed straight
for the jugular of the mantelpiece clock;
unscrewing its face, she tore off the diseased scions,
paused at the numbers (translating from the Roman?)
— impotent now with their indicators gone.

An alarm clock sounded in a neighbour’s house.
The vanwoman sighed. Is the day ever done?
She snapped shut the face of the clock
and packed her tools into her blue toolbox,
a token smile going out the door.
You should be all right now.

(published by Boho Press, 2005)

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