Did I dream as a small boy
a narrow lane with clock towers ranged
on either side, and at its end
a golden tower beneath whose clock
I was to meet my Great Aunt Maud?
And did I dream that I'd arrived
to find the great clock striking twelve
and Great Aunt Maud nowhere around,
then dreamed the clock struck on past twelve
and seemed as though it would not stop,
until with one enormous "Dong!"
the face fragmented, showered the ground?
The hands still moved, but madly now,
the cogs and ratchets, weights and chains
were blurs before my startled eyes.
I thought I'd dreamed it, but was told
the clock was real, was Great Aunt Maud's.
Her carriage clock (The gold was brass?)
had stood for years, and struck the hours
totally sans face and hands.
Faceless people, hands in prayer;
faceless clocks, hands locked as one,
were constant in my early dreams.
Corrosive after-images, they followed me
from depth of dream to height of day.
But did they also lay false trails,
mock memories of bogus dreams?
Both might be true, I might have worked
the carriage clock into my dream -
though it is gone from memory.
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