The bridegroom took his budding love,
they snuck off to the side,
and while the wedding party danced,
he whispered to his bride.
The nighttime draped the garden path
in olive, and the lush
of summer leaves withheld the moon,
but still he saw her blush.
“Come take my hand, my lover
I am yours, and you are mine,
we’ll dance the years away together.
We shall conquer time!”
But from a hidden archway spoke
an ancient metal clock,
and with a grinding chime, it said
“This may come as a shock,
But I am older than you know,
and your audacity…
…you young… impertinent upstart…
You’ll NEVER conquer me!”
I give you only twenty years,
then on this very spot
we’ll meet again, and maybe then,
we’ll both see what is what!”
The bride and groom were terrified,
without a second glance
they ran away, returned to join
their tardy wedding dance.
But years were nighthawks on the moon
which flew far out of reach,
and years were foaming diamonds,
dissolving on the beach.
And some were good, and some were bad,
but all were roughly hewn,
and sapped the life from both of them,
and ended way too soon.
And at the end of nineteen years
and sundry months and days
the wife’s role was concluded in
life’s temporary ways.
The anguished widower returned
to where they’d met with time,
along the hidden garden path
where weeds and ivy climb.
The ancient husband spoke to Time:
“It might appear you’ve won,
but please, before you speak too soon,
I’ll introduce our son!
He’s twice the man I ever was,
he has his mother’s eyes,
we’ve raised him here to take our place
once we’ve met our demise.
We danced a three-step through the years
as one– at any cost,
and so, you see, our love won’t end.
Admit it, Time, you’ve LOST!”
Some skeptics here will tell you
that the clock was old, and broke,
and it was just coincidence
it struck its final stroke.
But I am here to tell you,
if you’re quiet and you’re smart,
inside that metal clock, you’ll hear
the beating of a heart.
© Kenneth Henry, 2015