Frozen

The church clock is frozen at ten to seven

dust in the main street air hangs

motionless over some waiting cars

 

A traffic signal stuck at amber

it’s been yellow now six hundred years

in the butchery a knife is poised

 

over a side of loin chops it never falls

Mrs. Burnbridge on the balcony at

number twenty ponders whether to put

 

the king up in the empty space or whether

she should move the ten of clubs onto

the knave.  It’s taken half a millennium

 

as if her hesitation could bring the time

back – set the wheels moving again

glance below and watch the children walk to school

 

And in a cave somewhere in Asia

a bearded figure rigid now so many years

finger on button to be depressed only

 

a single warning second

and then released to read the prophet’s words

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© Johnmichael Simon

2012

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