Susan Hahn

Cycle Of Sounds

Hickory, dickory, dock--
it began of course in the nursery.
Mouth so safe--the tucked in
repetitions that would make
a child smile, absurd words--
how I loved the non-
sense. The mouse

ran up the clock.
Then, the clock struck one.
The chemotherapy is working.
Her hair has not yet fallen
to the dried out ground--just thins.
I sit and listen

as she retells her life's stories--hear only
the fragile rhythms. The notes expand
then stick together. The accordion of her
years fans then shrinks to a small space.
The music and the place
will remain here after

conversation is over. I run
Down there every afternoon to check
the minute and the hour
hands, the drum and the pendulum, the weight--
to reverse the escapement.
The mouse ran down,
the mouse ran up. She's trapped

inside the ticking clock,
and I flail against the break-
proof glass, not able to get her out.
As ridiculous as it sounds

hickory, dickory, dock.
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