Ode to the Jaded

The world is full of horrible things -
A god-awful amount of horrible things.
But is a sound so terrifying
As the echo of the church bell as it rings?
Once for a birth.
Twice for a love.
Thrice for a death.
A sound that haunts the children’s dreams,
And with each metallic trill,
A dark crowd gathers dutifully
Atop that half dead hill.
Ten for fear.
Twenty for shame.
Thirty for envy.
A figure emerges from the group,
A tall hat perched upon his head,
Shading his face and the evil truth –
This man has always been dead.
One thousand was dull.
Two thousand was painful.
Three thousand was torture.
And all around that sacred soul,
The others drop to their knees,
Softly muttering desperate prayers:
“If you will, sir, please.”
One whisper is eaten alive.
Two whispers are dueling.
Three whispers are crying.
And on this fateful night,
Four times does the church bell ring,
And a maid spots the eerie crowd
And cries, for she knows what it brings.
First, it was a night terror.
Second, it was a nightmare.
Third, it was a recurring dream.
Inside a grandiose house –
Far larger than the rest -
A new mother lays, eyes half-closed,
Not quite feeling at her best.
A quarter is nice.
A half is bliss.
Three-quarters is ecstasy.
Yet, in her arms lay the thing,
Too pale, too small, too still.
But she continues to hold it to her breast;
It can, it shall, it will.
One breath is shaky.
Two breaths are hoarse.
Three breaths are shallow.
And her husband, eyes ringed with dark,
Stares out the window, unsteady.
He knows the man will call on them soon,
But can he ever truly be ready?
One nod is afraid.
Two nods are a lie.
Three nods bring tears.
Yet, when the man is at the door,
His face an endless night,
The new father is up and across the hall
And receives him without a fight.
One step is daring.
Two steps are horror.
Three steps are regret.
The man in the hat kneels by the bed;
The mother’s shaded eyes graze his stance
She gasps and clutches her lovely harder:
This is her one, final chance.
First time is hopeful.
Second is draining.
Third is spirit-breaking.
The figure is silent yet speaks with remorse -
His desire to do this is naught -
But takes the cold, lifeless shell,
His flesh the color of rot.
One shout is sad.
Two shouts are horrid.
Three shouts are unbearable.
Her cries are loud,
A heart-breaking thing,
But the church bells are louder
And, forever, they will ring
Thrice for the death of strength.
Twice for the death of trust.
Once for the death of innocence.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

secrets_of_silence said...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm
wow, this is really good
 
MumblingMelanie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm
Thank you! :D
 
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