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The Wheels of Time

David Lewis Paget

The day was grey when it came my way
With a clatter of wheels and hooves,
Echoing off the cobblestones
And under the red tile roofs,
The rain was glistening in the road
And I was confused at first,
For what I’d thought was a coach and four
Went by as a horse drawn hearse.

The horse went stepping by, high and proud
With a coat like shining mail,
And ostrich plumes adorned its harness
Right down to its plaited tail.
Then in the hearse, a polished coffin
With silver plate inscribed,
The name of him, who encased within
Had clutched at his heart, and died.

I watched the hearse as it rolled away
And thought that it could be me,
When one day off in a future time
I departed my history,
The wheels had creaked like a ticking clock
Or a dripping tap, each turn,
Rolling along to the day we stopped,
Went home in a funeral urn.

The months slipped by with barely a sigh
Till I saw that hearse again,
It passed my way when the day was grey
And the clouds had threatened rain.
I read the name on the silver plate
As the hearse had passed on by,
And held my breath in the face of death
For I certainly knew that guy.

We’d been together at school back when
Though he was younger than me,
He’d been successful in all he’d done
And married Penelope.
The only woman I’d ever loved
But he’d snatched her heart away,
And now she plodded behind the hearse
Looking faded, old and grey.

Her eyes met mine and a bitter smile
Had flickered around her eyes,
I hadn’t seen her for years, and yet
Her look had the look of surprise.
I never saw her again until
She passed me by in the hearse,
Her name engraved on the silver plate,
I thought I was being cursed.

So now I wait by the garden gate
For the clatter of wheels and hooves,
Whenever the day is clouded and grey
And the sound echoes off the roofs.
All I can hear are the wheels of time
That pass like a ticking clock,
And wait for the hearse to halt outside,
Whether I know it, or not.

David Lewis Paget

© 2017, David Lewis Paget. All rights reserved.

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