the ticking clock

by ashwinia


across oceans she flew,
a special clock hung around her neck 
like a noose rooted to her rich land
by blood. 
with no consent it bleeps daily 
reminders to reach milestones she fears 
in nightmares - one is numbered 25.
ancestors chant commands (from unwritten books): 
it's time -- the clock has struck
26 she is running now.
no one but everyone chases her.
in this race, girls run faster than boys 
for there is no shame greater than a woman 
unmedaled. 
afraid, she is running 
out of years. 
her clan weeps begs prays
soothsayers cry prophecies 
of failure. words and tears are wasted minutes
seconds away from public dishonor
disaster. 26 howls the clock
she runs 27 in circles
caged by sacred time and fear,
alarmed forever by the cultural parasite.
.
.
.
where people are raised with ticking clocks,
there is a time and age for everything
even love, sex and happiness.

 

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