Written by Poetry

NaPoWriMo Day 13: The Watch

This poem about why not all Veterans view punctuality the same way especially if they give a large part of their life to serving the country.

NaPoWriMo Day 13 - The Watch

NaPoWriMo Poem #13

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a non-apology for a thing you’ve stolen. I wrote this poem about why not all Veterans view punctuality the same way especially if they give a large part of their life to serving the country.

The Watch

I once worried about my time and attendance.
I once carried The Watch.

But I don’t listen to it anymore.

I’m supposed to be at work at 8:30 AM but I don’t arrive until after 9:00 AM.
I park in the back away from the windows to avoid being seen.
Entering through the back door gives me access to the empty service stairs.
Always winding through the cube maze and never taking a straight line.

The Watch would have told me I owed it 30 minutes.

But I don’t listen to it anymore.

I’m supposed to only have 30-minutes for lunch but sometimes I take 90 instead.
I get a burrito and coffee and sit to talk to friends.
On the way back in I make sure to stop by co-workers to ask them how they’ve been.
I always return to my desk with an alibi that keeps me from being taken to the woodshed.

The Watch would have told me I owed it 60 more minutes.

But I don’t listen to it anymore.

I’m supposed to stay until 5:00 PM but I find ways to leave an hour early.
My Sup likes to talk and have pointless late meetings.
His door being shut is my green light to pack up and go.
I have get’n back to my car down to a science and walk cavalierly.

The Watch would have told me I couldn’t leave until I paid what was owed.

But I don’t listen to it anymore.

There was once a time I cared about time and attendance.
There was once a time I listened to The Watch.

But that was back before I trained on the beach for those 5 great days in hell.
My boat crew knew that being first and on time would give us a short rest.
The Watch constantly reminded us that it paid to be a winner.
But the louder it ticked the more we wanted the bell.

Some 7,200 minutes The Watch promised to give me back.

So I continued to listen.

But that was back before I deployed on the grey lady and jumped-to every hourly chime.
The Watch had me working 18-hour days, 7-days a week, without breaks.
Between chewings, plannings, and eatings, my time was not my own.
A constant machine that was dedicated to double-checking everything until showtime.

That’s 2.10-million more minutes The Watch promised to give me back.

So I continued to listen.

But that was back before I walked out of the E-Ring at 8:30 AM unaware that Flight 77 was about to pass through.
The Watch made sure I didn’t make any stops on my drive back to base.
I was obedient to The Watch and walked with purpose back to my desk.
I still remember how obedient my friends were to The Watch on their last workday too.

Even then, The Watch promised to make it worth my while.
It promised to give me the 165.9-million minutes it took from my friends.
All I needed to do was give it more time.
To invest another 10 years towards that glorious stockpile.

That’s 5.25-million more minutes The Watch promised to give me back.

But this time I rebelled.

I took off The Watch and freed myself from its punctuality.
Its charm was now lost on me and I could see all of its lies.
The Watch never planned to give me back anything it owed me.
And I was never going to enjoy that promise of immortality.

When I once worried about my time and attendance, I carried The Watch.

But I don’t need to hear it anymore.

There are days when I find it a drawer.
I heard it ask, even beg for my attention.
But I don’t have as much time as I did before.
So I don’t listen to The Watch anymore.

#naprwrimo