Salvation Army Bells

from by Justin Henderson

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Julie stands alone outside the market
with hands hidden from the daunting winter wind
that's left her face deadened and pale,
ringing her salvation army bell to everyone who passes by,
but it's no surprise when they're occupied with something else.

And though everything is bear traps she's not sad
and, it's remarkable. In fact, to pass the time,
she takes note when people smile.
It breaks her heart to meet their eyes.

Day turns to night,
and now her bell reflects the melodies on their minds,
and they sing "Julie, are you alright?"

Friend, my only friend, brush your hair out of your eyes.
Sit tight and try to meet my glance again.
I know you're far away--that you're lost inside your mind,
but I know that you've got something to say.

And though that ringing doesn't matter much to me:
it stutters into silence; the walls collapse
my bed begins to breathe.

For everything. For each disjointed heartbeat,
the broken glass that sinks into our feet,
and every wire that's been stripped I'll set aside for everything.


from Emily, released August 17, 2014



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Justin Henderson Portland, Oregon

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