The right time
In our family time was measured by watches and clocks
my father repaired. He oiled, re-set and rewound
returned precision to people's lives
at his shop on 4th Avenue - called Clifford's Jewellers.
He was from the old school, no batteries or digital readings
he worked at a cluttered wooden bench
where he renewed clocks
that had gathered dust in basements
restored pocket watches, changed staffs
replaced crystals, traded worn leather straps
for gleaming expansion bracelets.
My father brought minutes of the day
back to where they belong.
He believed in time
believed in the power time brought to life
I carried home the small wooden clock
my father kept by his bed - wound it every night
before he slept and every morning when he woke.
"I feel time moving," he would say.
A month or so ago
my father took off his gold watch
heavy now for the thin person he had become.
"This fancy closure bothers me
I need a regular strap, nothing exclusive
just a watch for an old man with a cane."
My father died a month ago
he was 97.
Rochelle Mass, Canadian born in Winnipeg, family moved to Vancouver when she was 18 months old, she grew up between the majesty of the mountains and the drama of the ocean. Totems were the first art she experienced. In 1973 she moved to Israel with her husband and 2 young daughters, they lived on a kibbutz in the Jezreel valley for 25 years, now live in a village crawling up the Gilboa mountain, overlooking that valley. She has received 2 Pushcart Prize nominations and other honors and publications including three poetry collections, most recent The Startled Land, Wind River Press. This year she was appointed judge of 2 poetry contests. A painter and sculptor, Rochelle is currently preparing for 2 large exhibits.