Sonnet for Lent

The Hebrew clock, Prague Town Hall

Hinge week, between equinox
and change of hour.  Waking to blue
the colour of stained-glass, tibia of plum,
persimmon.  Dawn as free gift.  Uncalendared.
By day, I watch you sleep, summoning
your breath like a snake-charmer.
The terrier curled on your chest
like a conch, her tiny body rising
and falling with the ridge and furrow
of your rib cage.  On the edge of a black hole
time stands still.  But the hands of the clock
in the Jewish quarter go to left from right
And we too choose to live slowly backwards.
Not borrowed time but earnt.

Rachel Spence

NOTE: The lines in italics are from Zone by Guillaume Apollinaire (trans. Samuel Beckett).

If you have any comments on this poem,  Rachel Spence   would be pleased to hear from you.