The Last Friday

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BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS

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Dewell H. Byrd

Posts : 374
Join date : 2012-01-05
Age : 87
Location : Central Point, OR

BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:56 pm

Looking for distractions... should stanza #6 be deleted?  HELP... Dewell

BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS (1943)

First Christmas I remember was filled with laughter:
no tree, gifts or tinsel, just lots of people---
relatives with fun tales, games, pranks and love.

Our house fairly rocked with good cheer.  Each
person received an orange, a Brazil nut, two pecans
and a piece of hard-rock candy.  Cousins were wild

with excitement.  Older men stood around the fireplace
discussing the war, each proud of the strong young
sons they had sent to, "KICK HITLER'S BUTT."

We rushed to the front porch to see a double rainbow
arching over the school house on the hill and watched
the color fade, drain away at the ends.

Silence was broken with gasps of wonder as people
smiled, touched each other remembering
HIS promise.  Tears of joy were near.

Later two army officers brought a black-edged
telegram from the War Department to my Mom.

Yesterday I saw a double rainbow arching over
that hill and I marveled at the way color
did not drain to the ends.  I instantly felt

drawn to that old front porch with family,
laughter and HIS children struck by a double rainbow.

   -Dewell H. Byrd
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tsukany

Posts : 619
Join date : 2011-05-21

Just a thought

Post  tsukany on Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:59 am

Dewell

I am reluctant to lose any of this story.

Might I suggest moving stanzas seven and eight to the top (tweak them to be an intro) which would leave the reader still in 1943 with stanza six as the ending?

I think you might need to soften the transition from tears of joy to the military-escorted letter.  Those tears are not the same.

One more thing:  the two "rocks" in stanza two are too rattling for me.

Bless you and Elsa

Todd

Pat

Posts : 671
Join date : 2011-09-12

Bittersweet Christmas

Post  Pat on Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:50 pm

I think your title is perfect.
Lots of sweetness in the narrative.  A picture of Christmas.
I hesitate on touching it up.
I like Todd's suggestions.  
Maybe a ! after Butt!  I like the first six stanzas.  I don't think you need that line about tears of joy at all.  Let us imagine.
For me, the last two stanzas take away from the power of the poem.  (I do this too.... almost a moral.  Not needed, me thinks.)
This poem has power in it, Dewell.  Nice job. Big hearted.

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