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“Sestina” by Katie Schaffenberger: SMU Poetry Award Honorable Mention

Sestina

By Katie Schaffenberger

He keeps time with a broken watch
that is always set at 2:27 in the afternoon,
or in the morning,
whichever he decides.
He believes in taking things slow,
and that we always have enough time.

He hates everything about time,
But it’s convincing, that watch.
It’s not that the hands are just slow,
they actually just sit at 2:27 in the afternoon,
or if he’s tired, he decides
it’s actually 2:27 in the morning.

And I hate the morning,
because it’s never the right time,
because it’s always whatever he decides,
and it’s all based on that stupid watch.
It’s always 2:27 in the afternoon,
and we will never move past moving slow.

Because he believes in taking everything slow,
especially in the morning,
because the sun is bright until the afternoon,
and it gives him enough time
to pretend: to look at his watch,
and decide.

And he always decides
that today, we’ll take things slow.
But tomorrow, he promises, we’ll watch
the sun rise in the morning
if we have enough time…
but it might already be the afternoon.

But when it gets to the afternoon,
he decides,
we can take some time
and just take things slow,
just like the morning.
He promises, he won’t look at his watch.

But I don’t want to take things slow, I decide,
And I’m tired of that watch, and the way it doesn’t tell time,
And I don’t care, anymore, about morning or afternoon.

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