four souls alone on the farthest pew
wondering why the bell isn't ringing for us.
Was it not days ago when these tones were still men?
The bell calls out again and brings me back to that night.
I can still hear the telltale whines of the ship's wires;
still feel the suffocating silence that followed
in that godless moment where our hearts hit the floor.
The icy shocks of water still try to throw me over,
longing to take me hostage and drown me in the sea.
In the back of my mind, I'm still holding on to a young sailor;
his hand still frozen in mine as I pull him away from the pitching bow.
Frigid rain still pours down on me as I finally pull him up to the railing,
and again I watch him scramble to grab hold of the rusted metal rails.
My memory looks up at me just like he did that night.
I see his bright blue eyes, the raw panic behind them,
when that final, crushing wave slams into the ship.
The little light that remains shattered to darkness,
and in that water as black as death, men turned to chimes.
Why isn't the bell ringing for us? I look at the others.
I see the sailor to the right scanning the pews,
searching franticly for his daughter.
One seat over is the second sailor,
trying to ignore the piercing toll of the bells.
On my left is that young one with the bright blue eyes,
huddled in his oversized coat and trying to hide.
I put my hand on his shoulder; he looks up at me
and tries his best to fake a smile.
As the last of the twenty-five chimes resound through the church,
its haunting tone echoed and repeated by stone walls,
I try to listen for the one that should've been mine.
Four souls alone on the farthest pew
wonder why the bell never rang for us.