Mum received a present from her parents
after their first big trip overseas when she was ten
and stuck in boarding school. A windup
Swiss watch that fits my wrist with painted roses—
six altogether—watch-face smaller
than a five cent piece. I only wear it
on special occasions—weddings, concerts,
One evening before going to the theatre, I put my hand
in the square letterbox to retrieve the letters—
unthinking. I draw my hand out, metal scapes
against the painted watch and in an instant
after five decades of care—a rose
I keep the watch hidden from Mum for three years
until I show her this poem. She says:
‘these things happen. It’s five decades old’.
My relief is as wonderful as discovering
the Japanese art form of Kintsugi—
where powdered gold is history’s brushstroke,
melding cracks in broken pottery.
And I realise the watchband’s gold now shines
where the rose once was.
First exhibited in ‘These Frozen Moments’ sound installation at the Metro Arts Laneway, the Good Room, 2017