I was surprised but not surprised

to learn that my father was buried
with his wedding ring (but snapped, to break
all ties with earthly life), his wallet
(of course stuffed with bills and some change
for the ferryman), and his gold watch.

My father— who all his life had counted
carefully all the hours upon waking, enjoying
but not lingering unnecessarily at each mealtime,
punctual to work and industrious at his daily
meditations on the toilet— I would have wanted
to keep this watch, the only one he favored,

a gift from one of his wealthy cousins: Swiss
timepiece, Omega Seamaster Deville Automatic,
its round pearled face mounted on a band of wavy
metal links, its little window with the dates
clicking each day imperceptibly forward.
Analog of time, as though each sweep

of the hands positioned all in due order:
as if we knew indeed the quantity of days assigned
to our care. Deep in the earth he’s tilled now
more than a quarter century: tiny gold horseshoe
under glass— From alpha to omega, from end
to end, each one a perfect twin to the other.

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