Grandmother’s Clock
by Ruth Bavetta

Come Daylight Savings Time
I can almost hear her.
Coffee grounds are good for ferns.
Never use black straight from the tube.
If you’re making chicken salad,
veal is cheaper than chicken.
Don’t use the knob to move the hands,
it mixes up the chimes.

Press the earth around the plant
to keep the air away from the roots.
Never go down to the main beach
and mix with the common people.
Dresden is the city for opera.
Glass looks best against the light.
Sometimes, in the middle
of the night I wake and hear her
alone in the dark.

PHOTO: The clock the author inherited from her grandmother in an honored spot at her home in California.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I remember this clock in my grandmother’s house when I was only eight. Every fifteen minutes? said my husband, after my grandmother died. How can we live with that? But we have, 43 years and counting. Now the clock sits on a bookcase here in our house by the beach. Still counting sunset to sunset.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruth Bavetta  listens to the clock’s Westminster chimes in her studio overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Her poems have been published in Rhino, Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, North American Review, Spillway, Poetry New Zealand, and many other places. Her work is included in four anthologies. She has published three books, Flour Water Salt (FutureCycle Press) Embers on the Stairs(Moontide Press) and Fugitive Pigments (FutureCycle Press.). She loves the light on November afternoons, the smell of the ocean, a warm back to curl against in bed. She hates pretense, fundamentalism, and sauerkraut.