Twelve is the round the hours chase in a circle
from morning til night in their unending plight,
winding us up as our time winds us down,
lost in our days, scuttled by in their haze.
Twelve is the countdown of months in each year
that elapses too quick as the thought makes us sick,
turning our leaves as we leave all we've turned,
forgetful at last, churned the wake of our past.
Twelve was my age when grandmother departed
as she drew a last breath in the coming of death,
converting to spirit ere I turned to a convert,
hopeful at least, watched the ghost she released.
Twelve was the day and the month to remember
all the rest of my life with its joy and its strife,
growing to manhood but a man oddly grown,
found in myself, scribed like books on my shelf.
About the Poem
This poem was written in recognition of pattern. The number twelve often winds up being meaningful to people. My maternal grandmother died on December 12 when I was just twelve years old. On the anniversary of her death I wrote this poem about the pattern of twelve in my life and in timekeeping generally. Because it's a poem about pattern, it has more structure than most of my writing.
This poem is previously unpublished in print. This poem was finished December 12, 2012.