Sarah H.


It is not deafeningly loud, nor is it a mellow sound
Occasionally changing places around the house
Not that it matters where it lies, its consistency is unwavering
The most important button is absent, displaced
Broken by carelessness and laxity
No longer able to start, stop, and begin again
Lacking the ability to perform the needed task
Not capable of recording a specific moment
Dysfunctional and insignificant
Until 7:03
Exactly 7:03
A shrill reminder of the time resonates throughout the house
Somehow programmed for an unerring instant every night
Perfectly precise

Hardly anticipated;
Yet a reminder
It is not tolerated for long;
Jumbled assortment of buttons pushed to stop the reverberation
True consistency is a rarity

A flawlessly steady life may be impossible to lead
Daily reminders expose the elements of inconsistency

My feet pound in practice on a worn track
A set pace is the aspiration
A time looking to be achieved
Not a time laced with celerity
Or a time that evokes astonishment
But a time of evenness and stability
Stopwatches enlisted to maintain the pacing
One cannot sustain it forever,
Only attempt to
For a clock merely delivers the time
Is a pace attainable when irregularity stands imminent?
Consistency is organization and predictability
Consistency endures
Something so exact that at the sixtieth second of 7:02
An alarm will sound
Every day of the week
An unknowable reason why, but existing all the same
Whether there is anyone for it to sing to
Or not.


Copyright 2002-2007 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2007 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.