It was almost twelve, daddy, and we hurried through gallery 11,
wavering but a moment at the raja, vajir, haathi, oonth, ghoda and pyaade,*
all suspended in ivory: a battle, set up, but forever awaiting the conch.
We ran down the corridor --Sunday afternoons slipped by
when you'd taught us to build forts on pieces from your childhood
--and arrived, breathless, to the musical clock in the lobby.
But that little watchman, time, had already chimed the hour.
*Piece names in Hindi for the king, queen, rook, bishop, knight, and pawns.
Something like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21000745@N02/5051374373/lightbox/