Ruth Belville

Up before the knocker uppers
tapped dark windows with their rods,
she'd make her weekly trudge to Greenwich,

like her father and mother before. Set
the passed down watch she carried
to one tenth of a second of the Observatory's time.

Then carefully curating this precision,
would give it up for a price to owners of dials
with hands that raced or crawled.

Her clients not straying
even when electronic pips were aired
or a prim voiced clock came down the line.

Mistress of exactitude, she wound down
at eighty-six, ending a business, where
' time is money ' never more aptly applied.

Stephen Bone
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Stephen Bone would be pleased to hear them.