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Robert Cole

i.m. of my Father

He picked the rusty thread out with tweezers,
examined it like a fly in honey.
The escapement unspooled, glinted
under his reading-lamp lashed to the socket.

His jeweller's eye-piece flashed
a bead drawn down, dewdrops of light
moistened his forehead, sweating dynamite
over the time-piece.

His crystal-set gleamed, tuned into
Vaughan Williams, wavering notes a jangle
of Arabic bone-flutes he explained away
as sun-spots. The dial pitted with fox-marks.

He'd had his watch in the desert. Gun-metal
strap, face pranged. Flesh closed over
where a bullet scorched a starburst on his wrist.
He steadied a screwdriver.

Cogs whirled from their housing.
He placed them in a pool of oil on a tin tray,
released the new spring, a golden hair
to be wound in a sweet-heart's locket.