“Caeditur et tilia ante jugo levis…”
(“A light linden-tree also is felled betimes for the yoke…”)
–Virgil, Georgics I
Inside, all the clocks are blinking,
as though even time could not fully
wake to Monday morning. Should I walk
down the hall and flip each limp clock face,
counting and stretching in succession?
They droop along the mantel’s edge, unstuffed
quesadillas before the hot comal and the salsa picante.
Did you know that if you put ham and cheese
between two flour tortillas, you have instead
what they call a syncronizada? Cut into pie-
shaped wedges they might resemble six
two-hour bites of the clock, which might explain
the reference to time-keeping. Or perhaps
it’s simply from our habits of always
keeping time, watching the clock: no more
than three minutes in the shower, five
to grab a coffee and banana, an hour to get
the kids to school and ourselves to work
if we should be so lucky; an hour for lunch,
a morning for sifting through the flour
and meal of correspondence… Who
has the time anymore to notice the squirrel
tunneling back into the icy snow, the neighbor
walking to his truck a quarter mile away?
Above our heads, the rough-hewn hours
shift into shapes of ploughs. Soon,
along the avenues, leaves will mottle
the linden trees: whole libraries of green
lifting their faces in a chorus to work and time.