Poetry: Time Breaks the Heart, JL Williams

Time Breaks the Heart

Her watch is posted from the south.
Its black box ticks the whole way.

The accident happens, the funeral.

The flowers fade.

Grain in silos shifts with powdery sighs.
Light drifts, changes.

Her smell is gone. The voice of the beloved,
like any old memory, strays.

Her watch, in its dark drawer,
stops at a quarter to eight.

A gale blows loose a bird’s nest
lined with silken gold-red strands,

and when I find it in the wind-wrecked yard

I see her, again – at the window, brushing her hair.


JL Williams’ poetry has been published in journals including Poetry Wales, The Wolf and Fulcrum. Her first collection of poetry, Condition of Fire, was published in 2011 by Shearsman Books. She is Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Poem previously featured in Edinburgh Review 137- Haggis Hunting: fifty years of new playwrighting in Scotland.

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