She hated that sound, that tick-tock, tick-tock,
Produced by that hideous, odious clock,
Smugly, quietly, ticking away
Every minute of every day.
How could she think through that horrible din?
Measuring, smothering, closing her in?
"Please," she called out, "oh please, won’t you quit?
It’s so uncreative, I’m so sick of it!”
”No,” he replied, “it’s not time to stop.
There’s so much to be done, I can’t just close shop.
This ticking you hear is the sound of my heart
It’s a crime, you’d agree, to demolish such art.”
”Art?!” she exclaimed, “What do YOU know of art?
I’ll open you up and I’ll tear you apart!
I’ll dissect your cogs from your feet to your brain!
THEN we’ll find out how much ‘art’ you contain!”
”It’s not time, my dear,” he so patiently said,
And he smiled a gold smile with a shake of his head.
And she stormed and she raged and she stalked off to bed
Vowing she wouldn’t rest ‘til she saw that clock dead.
”I’ll kill him,” she whispered, her hands making fists,
"He’ll soon learn I’M not to be lightly dismissed.
Come morning I’ll smash him right down from the wall
And I’ll break him to pieces, his smug face and all.”
”It’s not time, my dear,” the clock quipped from afar.
"And just by-the-by, your voice travels quite far.
I do hope you realize you’re wasting your breath
If all that you threaten’s my untimely death.”
Death? What a laugh! Death was over too fast.
And this clock had been ticking for days and nights past.
Death was like sleep, and this clock was a pest
And all she could think of to give him was rest?
Not good enough! No! He deserved something better
Let his face become tarnished, his gears become fettered
His golden smile rust and his ticking be drowned—
One moment, hold on, I should write all this down.
With skin as her paper and blood as her ink
She sketched out her plans and continued to think
Of the torments that she would inflict on that clock
Who had ticked and had talked and had tocked and had mocked.
Her canvasses grew and her paintings were grisly
And the nights became cold and the days became drizzly
And just when she thought her next plan was sublime
He would chuckle and sweetly proclaim, “It’s not time.”
And then back to the drawing board, all out of skin
So she sculpted her plans from the tissues within.
They grew ever more fiendish with each passing day
But the clock remained smiling, and all he would say
Was, “No no, my dearest, it isn’t time yet.
Let us see how creative a notebook can get.”
Creative?! She’d show him creative all right
She’d drench him in petrol and set him alight
And his screams would be wonderful music to hear
And he wouldn’t be mocking her, not then, my dear.
He would finally give the regard she deserved
When his fate had been sealed and his punishments served
And his body was broken and limp on the ground
He would see what a wonderful artist he’d found.
When she ran out of muscle and sinew and flesh
And the clock had incited her ire afresh
In her very last effort to finish her art
She reached in and pulled out her still-beating heart
And she handed it over and put it inside
And stumbling backward, looked on it with pride.
She grinned and she stated, “It’s finished. No more.”
And all that was left of her fell to the floor.
At long last the clock got up out of his place
And no longer bearing that smile on his face
He slowly approached with a soft, measured tread
And he lifted her up and he took her to bed.
She was light as a feather, and quiet at last
And he lay down beside her with thoughts of the past
He breathed in her smell of a river run dry
And softly he whispered, “It’s time,” with a sigh
Caressing the bones of his truculent bride
came to rest