Alarie Tennille, Dali’s Clocks

Alarie Tennille
DALI’S CLOCKS

Scientists have cut time
into tiny, equal ticks,
but we all know it is fluid,

dripping ever so slowly—
an I. V. refusing to kill pain
or worry,

sweeping us away—
a tidal wave any time we’re
on the beach of contentment,
reluctant to gather our things,
head back to the car.

Yet we persist in counting it
as though that’s a skill required
for our final exam—
the one we keep dreaming
we didn’t prepare for.

Author’s Comment: The contrast between times we wish would speed up and those we want to keep is the central theme of my new book (looking for a publisher). I don’t recall what incident inspired “Dali’s Clocks,” but my life is full of examples. How I hate waiting for medical results! Since my retirement last summer, time has become more slippery, and poetry seems the best way to hold onto it.

Bio: Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. She serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place in Kansas City, Missouri. Her chapbook,Spiraling into Control, is available on Amazon.com. Alarie’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Margie, Poetry East, Coal City Review, English Journal, I-70 Review, and Southern Women’s Review.

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4 thoughts on “Alarie Tennille, Dali’s Clocks

    • I really admire that last stanza—that exam dream is tremendous presence, at least for my generation, and packs a real wallop in this poem. Bravo!

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