Back Turned
by Marin Sorescu
Translated by Adam J. Sorkin & Lidia Vianu

The clock has turned its back on time.
The clock was ill and, feeling the end draw near,
Probably had its own particular notion
Of a heaven for objects that die,
Where clocks synchronize themselves
To God's heart,
And night and day, alarm clocks jinglejangle
At the resurrection of the stars.

With its big hand, however, it saw
This was absurd,
So it met its timely end,
Turning its back on time.

And I, the soul of the departed,
Will tarry near
For three days,
To see whether the hair and nails
Start growing on time.

translated from the Romanian by
Adam J. Sorkin and Lidia Vianu

Published with permission from the author's estate.

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