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The Watch


When tidying my house

I found your watch,

once splendent silver,

now a dappled snakeskin


of rust, fixoflex

set like crooked teeth.

I was seven

when I picked it up


to try it on.





Each word a challenge.

Thought I could make

the hands go backwards,

wanted to open the back


and find the 17 jewels.

It stopped one day

at two-fifteen

and held its breath


for thirty years.

I wind it now

and the mechanism spins

through memories of you.


In two hours it gains

twenty minutes,

keen to catch up

on everything you missed.



© Maurice Devitt

Picture 10278273, photograph by H Armstrong Roberts, image copyright Mary Evans / Classic Stock



Selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2016, Maurice Devitt’s poems have featured in a significant number of journals, both in Ireland and internationally. A previous winner of the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland and Poems for Patience competitions, he was a featured poet at the Poets in Transylvania Festival in 2015 and a guest speaker at the John Berryman Centenary Conference in both Dublin and Minneapolis. His poems have been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Net prizes and his Pushcart-nominated poem, ‘The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work’, was the title poem of an anthology published by Hibernian Writers in 2015. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site and in 2018 published his debut collection, Growing Up in Colour, with Doire Press.