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Death Knell

Forty-four times it pealed across the misty cold,
And to ears averse to hearing, each toll rasped the sore.

The deep tones were calling out, “It’s over.”
When longings were to see and hold once more.

One time, it was over eighty times that the bell tolled,
And I asked Mama “How can they stand to hear the sound?”
She said ‘They must be thankful that she grew so old.

For so many years they treasured having her around.”
Now Mama was gone and could tell me nothing
To soften the raging refusal and revolt I felt.

When the last echo gradually died away
There was a place inside I didn’t think could melt.

“You’re going to be the mommy now,” they told me,
And I cried, “No, I’m just a little girl,
Even if I don’t have a mommy now to hold me,
I’m not going to be a grown-up in this world.”
Well, I’ve heard chimes that set my heart a’dancing
And tinkling bells said, “Christmas time’s come ‘round.

But I didn’t pretend I couldn’t have waited longer
To hear that particular tolling’s aching sound.

©2010 Carol Morfitt

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