The Bell Tolls for Me - Bryan Butler

The Bell Tolls For Me ~ A poem by Bryan Butler

The bell tolls. 
Who cares that it has hung silent for decades? 
Who dares weep lest all melt away? 
Even frigid ice has a shape and familiarity.

The bell tolls. 
What good are shouts of glad victory from rubbled walls?
My comrades are huddled, blood spattered trumpets clutched in trembling hands.
Scars do not disappear with victory.

The bell tolls.
Friendly fire is just as deadly as enemy's.
Our past is still a wasteland;
Fire stormed – what roots left to green again?

The bell tolls.
We stand silent.
We uncover our heads.
Dare we open our hearts?

The bell tolls.
We know the battle is not ended.
We know the battle will never end.
We know ourselves too well.

The bell tolls.
We search for missing parts.
We wonder at those who think empty sleeves or hearts are normal.
We cannot touch what is not there – but we long to try.

The bell tolls.
We sit in silence.
We are afraid of silence.
We dare not break silence with empty noise.

The bell tolls.
The grave still claims victory.
Death still stings.
There are no winners.

The bell tolls.
Can it ring for new birth?
Can it peal for the helpless ... the infant newly born within us?
Can it sing for me?

Bryan Butler, PBI Staff Kid and Grad, Fellow Traveler
November 2011