Police should arrest pernickety time;
prevent it repeating its pattern of crime;
packing silk purses with dust and grime,
it gives us the reason but meters the rhyme,
controlling the second, the hour, the date,
never adjusting its pendulous rate,
declining to speed, or to hesitate;
while rivers and kisses condensate
its fingers keep flicking the image along.
This devious, silently ticking bomb
shunts us onward until we are gone,
bossily chiming, yet deaf to the song.
©Jane Paterson Basil