Broken Bell

Twas a month before Christmas
The barrage began
Christmas songs on the radio
Played by every band.

Too early, said I,
Thanksgiving’s just here
Then played a new song
That caught my ear.

Peace on Earth
Like a choir singing
Goodwill to men
Sang the church bells ringing

An old song, a new tune
That softened a heart
Said I, let’s learn to sing it
For when Christmas programs start.

Four weeks before Christmas
The singing began:
Dinners, choirs, church programs,
And caroling plans.

That’s about the time
The sickness hit
Stealing voice and morale
And desires to celebrate.

We tried to push through it,
To sing anyway
Squawked our way through choir,
Practiced day by day.

Peace on Earth
Like a choir singing,
I croaked out the words
Like a broken bell clinking.

Then, coughing with sore throat,
Mom fell sick too,
Exhausted, disheartened, unable to sleep,
Her days rolled on, the sickness did too.

Twas the week before Christmas
I just couldn’t see how
I’d ever sing again—
Much less right now.

Forget caroling
And plans with friends
We could barely keep commitments
With two church programs.

I hate this season,
Said I, despaired,
Full of cold and sickness
And little else to spare.

Peace on earth
Like a choir singing,
I choked out the words
Like a broken bell tinkling.

We prayed for a miracle
That would change our lives,
But sometime’s the miracle
Is that a heart survives.

Twas the day before Christmas,
Special to me:
A day of remembrance,
Tradition, family.

We arrived late, disheveled,
Then cries rent the air
As my brother, in pain,
Couldn’t even make it up the stairs.

So mom and brother
Had to go home
Amid disappointing season
Spend Christmas Eve alone.

Our family’s broken,
I thought dismally,
Forget peace on Earth,
There’s no peace in my family.

But there lived another
Once longing for hope
Through injury and war
Just trying to cope.

He heard the bells on Christmas day
And tried to know their joy
When through a bleak world rang the song
Of triumph, peace, and joy.

So through despair I let my fingers
Lie upon the keys,
And they began to play a tune
Familiar now to me.

Peace on Earth
Like a choir singing
I cried each word
Like a broken bell clinging.

Twas the morning of Christmas
And under the tree
So much colored paper
Smiling up at me.

My sister was smiling,
My brothers were too,
And Mom and Dad
Were in the Christmas mood.

Everyone anxious
To give of their gifts,
Like a roomful of carefree
Young children again.

The sickness has left
This Christmas bruised,
But slowly . . . slowly . . .
It’s beginning to lose.

Though some things are broken,
Not all is gone,
And from brokenness come
The most meaningful songs.

Peace on Earth
Like a choir singing
I sing each word
Like a church bell ringing.

Categories: #FridayFlash | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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