A Bell
by Ken Hada

I don’t know with certainty
why I return to childhood
standing between twin cedars
at the end of a short sidewalk
in front of the pink house
a few feet of concrete leading
away, out toward the dust
and prairie wind.

An old bell hung there
on a cedar post
and for some reason I liked
to be close to that heavy note
that called us home.

More than once I got in trouble
for ringing too often
or at the wrong time – the value
of its sound was found
in timely usefulness.

Even then, the bell seemed to be
a symbol beyond itself,
its power felt in its silent, motionless
existence – what it could say
if called upon.

All these years later, I hear
an uncle inherited the bell.
It no longer hangs at the old house
that now has new siding, a new roof
and windows –but the house still sits
on the same knoll, the walk leading
away, out toward the dust
and prairie wind.

Somewhere, somewhere
that bell continues –it could not rust
in three lifetimes – its ringing
will never go unheard.

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