eileen neary

The Watch

Mother is wearing the watch.
The one I would pawn next week
for half a tank of gas.

Leaning against the counter,
on the other side of the fossils,
was the slick-backed hair man
and his quiet comfortable cologne.

I didn’t ask for more but I said
       I’ll be back for it
       next week.

He smiled that smile he’d practiced
for the seven years
and four months it had been
since he set up shop.
It said
       no you won’t
       and I’m not sorry neither.

Mother never asked, never looked.
It simply blinked out of existence
without a whimper.
Her wrist is pale and naked and offended
and it glowers straight at me,
stings my back in every gentle hug.

She only wears short sleeves now.
Even when I bought her a birthday sweater
two days ago
with dad’s class ring.

She is wearing the watch.
I haven’t sold it yet.
I am smiling a daughter’s smile I’ve practiced
my whole life.
It says
       I’ll be fine, mum.
       Don’t worry, mum.

Eileen Neary is a 21-year-old New Hampshire resident. Her poetry has been published in numerous locations, such as The Rockford Review, CICADA magazine, South Jersey Underground, the catharsis, The Survivor Chronicles, and more. She will graduate Emerson College in May 2013 with a BFA and two minors.