I remember that pocket watch,

It was during a winter
much like this one
that we stopped by the market,
A chocolate box selection of
bright lights and coloured canvas covers.
Briskly eating steak pasties
covered in crisp packets
of crinkled paper,
Smothered with the illegible ink
of some long forgotten story.

There was no snow,
And it was bitter cold, even wrapped
up in woollens and your
black felt coat, I liked to feel
between my fingers,
Like a grim Christmas present,
Just out of sorts.

Past the roast pig, sweating
in a lazy stupor, eyes hung
low that made you want to cry.
Through the thronging crowd,
Under a backing track
of carol singers musing
on their muses.
Even after the hobo,
Playing Swing Low on the recorder,
Like he did every night at the same time.
(I wonder if he still does that..)

We sat at the table,
In a small wooden cabin
surrounded by chatter,
The natter of small things
as varied as snowflakes
or cup cakes from the shopping centre
not twenty feet from where we were,
And supped on mulled wine,
All aromatic spices
or some such.

Germany bid us welcome
with our hands full
of hard candy, of greens,
blues and sandy creams
and gaudy hues
and things we couldn’t pronounce.

Finally, we stopped at the shop.
I found that pocket watch
and gave it to you.
An unremarkably little thing,
Quartz wrapped in
crass folds of brass and

held by a shuddering hand.
You took it, even though
where you’re from, clock
gifts mean death.
Well you weren’t entirely wrong.
Because here I am this winter,
Thinking about how I haven’t seen you
in so long,
That I think I’ll skip the market
this year

Sorry sir I have no idea what the time is.

The End

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