ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Midnight Toll

Updated on October 3, 2013
Source


The pendulum swings left to right

The second hand continues its journey undeterred

Tick-tock, tick-tock

The face of the Grandfather clock stares

His heart beats time, his blood flows

His eyes blink, he breaths

Inhale, exhale

His chair rocks to and fro

The face of Grandfather stares

She stands by his side with shawl wrapped tight

Trembling hands caress old brow

Murmuring reassurance from unconvinced lips

Swaying in time on this ill-fated night

Mother weeps

At the top of the stairs, in the attic she lay

Labor and contraction, knuckles turned white

In the dim light of candles, casting flickering shadows

Bleeding sheets, and tearing pain

Daughter screams in the night

The pendulum swings left to right

The minute hand lands, marking 11:59

As the second hand continues on

Tick-tock, tick-tock

The grandfather clock glared

His heart is still, his blood gone cold

His eyes fix open, and breath exhaled

The rocking of the chair has settled

The face of grandfather grows pale

She falls to her knees, her countenance is shorn

From her depths a lament howl

Echoes through hollow halls

Enshrouded in grief, her shawl is torn

Mother wails

From uppermost room, death is rent

By the piercing cry of bloody new life

Pulled from darkness into light

Nestled against swollen breast

Daughters face, a conflict of agony and elation

The second hand ticks

Grandfather clock strikes the hour

Midnight tolls, pulsing through the house

Bells ring, sounding rebounding reverberating

The first signaling the end

The twelfth announcing the beginning

Mourning and celebration

The end of night, the start of a new day



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      What a great poem....the first half carried the gravity of a dark sense of mysterious forboding,not knowing what to expect,then the twist in the latter half,revealing the preceding moments before a new birth.A great tension builder.Thumbs Up!

      Yours Sincerely,

      R.Q.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      wow it just seems that your words are touched by that natural dazzle.. this is Poe like bravo :)

    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 3 years ago from New Jersey

      One life in and one life out....the circle continues. Beautifully portrayed with your words!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      What a profound piece. You reminded me of the book "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom.

      "The end of night, the start of a new day" -- I like this line.

      Astounding hub I must say. Up+++ and sharing.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      Amazing story! The imagery is frighteningly, profoundly effective. What a relief to realize the 'whole story' at the end.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      thank you very much Romeos!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Frank. I think our minds work alike in any ways so i always look forward to hearing from you, and reading your work. Have a great weekend!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      What an awesome yet sublime tribute to Motherhood, Wayne. Very well done!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Wow, wayne, this is stunning work here. You are one amazing writer. I am glad to finally be following you. This is totally gripping from beginning to elated end!

      Whew, your words made me perspire thinking back to giving birth!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much Jennifer.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Cris. I appreciate your generous compliments and your support.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you dear Nellieanna.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Wayne .. wow is all I can say.. I held my breath through every word.. outstanding.. there is death and then new birth..

      blessings my friend

      debbie

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much, Sha.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Wonderful for sure.

      Eddy.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Faith. And Happy Mothers Day!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you dear Deborah. And may you have a wonderful Mothers Day!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much Eddy.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      This had it all Sir Wayne:

      A brand new Epi-man top ten for you:

      10. Suspense

      9. tremendous narrative writing

      8. as told in perfect poetic form

      7. I shall never look at a pendulum

      6. or a grandfather clock in the same way again

      5. I just shite in my old man diapers

      4. Thank god I didn't read this just before bed

      3. I must turn the lights back on

      2. and know it was just a story

      1. and play something fookin' loud and life affirming like The Who, Metallica or Justin Bieber

      lake erie time 9:22pm and damn, you can out-Poe the Poe!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Powerful! Great poem.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. I could just hear that grandfather clock striking.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Vellur

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Colin you entertain me with your comments almost as much as you do your writing.The Who, Metallica and Bieber all mentioned in the same sentence...LOL! As always it's a pleasure whenever you stop by!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 3 years ago

      Absolutely engrossing! Found myself leaning forward to read every word!

      i found out i was pregnant with my first - immediately after my mother in law passed away...

      i found out i was pregnant with my second - immediately after my grandmother passed..

      i am a deep believer in the cycle of life...

      voting/sharing

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Rasma. Happy Mothers Day!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 3 years ago from Texas

      Wow! How suspenseful. It reads with a sense of urgency right to the end where there is at least some sense of relief.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you for the visit Leslie, and I hope you are having a wonderful Mothers Day!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much for the visit Shanmarie.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Your poem was filled with suspense and had me wondering where it was heading.

      The sights, sounds and touch all created a very real scene.

      Great writing, I felt the atmosphere and I liked the time theme running right through :)

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much Anna.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The midnight hour was a perfect time to pick, as things can go either way. You wrote a wonderful poem!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you again Deb for the kind words.

    • PHILLYDREAMER profile image

      Jose Velasquez 3 years ago from Lodi, New Jersey

      I love the paradox in this.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you, Jose! Good to talk to you!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker suzettetaos 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Beautiful poem and images. You paint a great picture of the event happening. The clock metaphor is wonderful also. Great realism and nuance.

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Good morning Suzette. I appreciate your visit and your encouraging comments. Thank you!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Really nice contrast of two moods, the clock I really effective too. Up!

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you Ed. I appreciate the visit.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Wayne,

      I shudder to think this one almost got by me! This is absolutely wonderful; any woman who has bore a child or any man who has anxiously anticipated his child's birth, can truly understand the significance in this. Beautiful!

      Cat

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much Cat. Only a woman could ever truly comprehend the experience.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Well, Wayne... I can say only a woman can truly appreciate how this 'feels', but you're a dad... you understand ;-)

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      This is really amazing work. I love way the story is told....the clock, the bolded starting words, the active verbs beginning the lines, the mood...it all works together powerfully. ~Lurana

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you very much Lurana.

    • sariasaeed profile image

      saria 3 years ago from u.k

      This is brilliant, the last line clears what the main idea was behind the poem, superb

    • wayne barrett profile image
      Author

      Wayne Barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      Thank you for visit Saria.

    Click to Rate This Article