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Jingle Bells Bequeathed by an Uncle
Sadie Ducet

Big as a child’s fist, riveted
to thick leather at regular intervals,
unwieldy as the cold solstice earth,
theirs no aeolian song set off
by a breeze, no giggle that batman
smells and robin laid his egg:
it takes real muscle, not
some hoked-up gadget belt,
to set these bells to ringing.
Here in my well-lit, twenty-first century
house, we have no horses.
We hang the bells on the banister and if
we want them to ring, we do it ourselves,
which the kids do, repeatedly, laughing,
wearing the finish off the wood.
And when they do, it’s nothing close
to the tiny, tinny clatter we know
from preschool music class.
Like watersound, this bellflow tumbles us
into Currier & Ives nostalgia for a never was,
if I’m not careful, all of us nestled
with other happy carolers, the runners hushed
and swift over the sparked snow, horses
high-stepping, the clear night filled
with snatches of song and laughter, house
to house all lit from within and other parties waving
Hello, hello! Merry Christmas!
No. Scrap all that as junk,
microwave the apple cider and splash
the whiskey in to toast the man. Then toast
the echoes of that caroling party, off into the dark—
Farewell, farewell, goodbye  and where are we off to next?
That part is real enough.
© by Sarah Busse.
Used with the author’s permission.

Sadie Ducet looks a lot like Sarah Busse, the co-editor of Verse Wisconsin, whose collection, Somewhere Piano, was published by Cowfeather Press in October 2012.

Post New Comment:
Janet Leahy:
My father had bells like this, he woke us with them when Santa left on Christmas Eve, thanks Sadie, for a memory I had not thought of for a long time.
Posted 12/19/2012 08:15 PM
Ralph Murre:
She DOES look a lot like Sarah Busse -- so, just this once you understand, I'll share that splash of whiskey. Cheers!
Posted 12/19/2012 12:35 PM
These words ring loud and clear!
Posted 12/19/2012 10:44 AM
love the poem, Sarah-Sadie, or is it Sadie-Sarah? Sweet!
Posted 12/19/2012 08:44 AM
Larry Schug:
As a collector of brass bells (70 or more, including sleigh bells), I certainly appreciate this poem. Like in this fine poem, my bells don't just collect dust, they are rung frequently. I love "Like watersound, this bellflow tumbles..." Thanks, Sadie, you made my day
Posted 12/19/2012 07:43 AM

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