The Clock…

That’s what I’d do.

By the time I got there

I’d calmed down

and was smiling at my lunacy.

I did take the battery out though

and decided that next morning 

I would go up into the loft.

I was going to retrieve my

old mechanical mantel clock.

And so I did.

It wasn’t going, so

I removed the back and took out

the movement, laying it out gently,

for I was my normal calm self by now.

Methodically, as my father had shown me

I took the pieces apart and carefully cleaned

each part using the finest clean oil,

one hundred percent synthetic Liberty oil.

I let the spring soak a while, cleaning 

the face and hands and the rest of the body

then using lint-free cloth to dry the parts

I very delicately began to put it back together.

It was a joy to do, I’d missed just – tinkering.

It reminded me of my dad and family. It wasn’t

all good, but the good far outweighed the bad.

When it was all back together, and after a number

of cups of tea, I sat and admired the clock for

what it was. It was a simple, barely elegant,

Westminster chime, utility mantel clock.

Nothing fancy at all, but it had history.

Where my father got it I don’t know,

but it was always on the sideboard

in the front room. That’s a misnomer too.

The front room was at the back of the house.

It took me till I was a teenager to understand

the vagaries of room naming. It was never a lounge,

more a sitting room really. Why it couldn’t have

just been called the best too I never understood,

but there you go. Anyway, I took the clock

and very carefully, set it down on the mantelpiece.

It was now happily ticking away and I was so happy

to see it there. It never keeps the time as well as

a battery-driven digital movement with a created

tick, but the reassuring tick tock tick tock

is so much more pleasant to listen to when you

lie in bed at night and hear it through the house.

A home needs nice clock in it.


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