My Railroad Pocket Watch

I wonder about the hands
That wore smooth
The engraving on the back.
Were they rough and calloused?
Soft and gentle?

I wonder about the hands
Under the smooth
Glass on the face.
Did they wind down
Long after their owner?
Have they always been
Frozen in time?

I think about his hands,
Larger than mine, not as smooth,
And the mist in his eyes.
Was he remembering
His father
Passing it on to him
As he passed it on
To me?

I imagine my own hands
One day old, no longer smooth.
With pride in my chest,
A touch of sorrow,
I pass it on
To cherished nephews.

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