I heard the far-off chime of a church bell
I think it was Presbyterian
I was almost able to forget
What a terribly bad year we’re in
It pealed so sweet and so clear
Like winter’s first freshening breeze
But all memories and lingering hopes
Can give one such a sly slow tease
The leaves fall and muster at my door
I take my broom to give them a good sweep
They’ll all certainly return later in the day
Like some deathbed promise they must keep
Strewn across the darkening night sky
The stars twinkle thru the gathering cloud
Christmas carols float over across from the park
Brightening and cheering and not even quite half loud
Mantel clock chimes 10 o’clock, tis time to hit the hay
And yes I can truly say, it wasn’t all that bad a new day
The fallen leaves scattered across the tracks,
Southbound 53 would push these farther on.
A love that was empty as Ashland’s winter trees—
A hard weight was lifted now that she’d gone.
No tears, but also no joy, would be found here.
Yes, may the very best find its way over to her;
And should any good be left over hanging out
Perhaps might could entertain here along with Jack’s purr.
Santy Claus is due to arrive in a few days
And we’ve all tried to be and to do our best;
But sometimes it’s never close to good enough
And you cancel flights along with all the rest.
Maybe in the new year happiness real will come
And everyone can breathe and let it all just be;
Festivals and dances return for our lives renewed
And I can get back to that crescent bend in the Mississippi.
The southbound blew its horn passing thru Ashland town
And the online chatroom railfans counted up all the cars.
The empty trees shimmied in the rolling winter wind;
The resettled leaves looked up and counted up all the stars.