Are You Saved

Opal Green sits in a room full
Of clocks, the yellowed hairpin
Lace of her thin pillow
Like a September sun ascending.
The air smells old, though
The windows are open,
And she talks on
About her father working
On the railroad, riding
The rails, she says,
From Erie to Emporium
And back again.
The clocks still tick
In an odd chorus behind
Her lace-haloed thin hair,
And time is as confused
As the mixed strokes
Of different pendulums.
They all talk different,
She says, but time
Is all the same to each
Of them. The hour is a song
Of many bells lasting minutes,
Even at three in the afternoon
When they are all chiming,
The last beginning as the first
Is ending. She looks to a small
Picture of Jesus on the wall.
Sometimes I won’t have to think
Of time anymore, she asks, are you saved?

:: William O. Boggs, Swimming in Clear Water (1989)

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