Clocks used to hesitate. Moon faced to let us believe
in the possibility of returns. As if for a joke
a cuckoo would jump out.
Cogs were getting stuck, springs crackled.
They requested careful offerings
of oiling and winding up.
Time was sensitive
to temperature and movements.
The early clocks were showing only hours.
Minutes we could keep in the pockets,
like pilfered change. The clock ruled only in the living
room, elsewhere we were free.
Before time became the herald
of a new order, before it claimed
even a hundredth of a second
we could make deals with it.
We would bribe it to peek into tomorrows
or to review yesterdays. Then the gods of time disappeared
replaced by unerring electronic digits,
unresponsive to bargains or prayers.