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THE PRESENT (poem) - Eleanor Hooker - Ireland - Poetry International
 
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THE PRESENT
I went inside a clock. My dæmon
unlocked the back, told me to take
my time as he laced me into my snow
boots. Nervous, I almost forgot the present.
 
In the Blizzard Room, snow globes
bloomed on icicle spears.  A Mammoth
nudged a blown orb along a frozen gully.
Preserved inside the glass was my old schoolroom.
Chalk flakes dusted the gaping floorboards,
and huddled beneath the timbers
were my classmates, petrified and silent.
 
My dæmon took me by the hand
and led me to the Room of Rankings;
a parched, outside-inside plot. Ladders
fixed in caked earth, leaned against a
bruising sky. My dæmon said, a bruising sky
has beaten, it can no longer assure the stars,
let us go from here. So we left it to its shame.
 
In the Lens Room, the clock face turned
to watch us.  At the centre of the chamber
I hummed my tuneless rhyme, and from one wall
my little girl stepped out of time, she clutched
my tattered present. You mustn't hold on, let her go now,
let her be, my dæmon said as I drew her close.