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The Bead Necklace


Nancy Brar

Death was upon her weary shoulders,
driving her to quicken the pace of her work,
Mechanically her long, calloused fingers moved,
In beat to the grandfather clock - tick tock, tick tock,
Her face was wrinkled with age,
Her old eyes, squinting to see the place of her beads,
She continued in the lonely dim of a melting candle,
Her lips frowning to the quick,
As a golden brown bead slipped from her shaking hand,
Onto the cold midnight floor, echoing it's fall,
Hating the stubbornness of that one bead,
She bent her grotesque body over,
Her fingertips searching and finding the rebel bead,
She slowly sat back and then continued her work,
In quiet determination learned from years of age,
The arthritic hand shook once more,
Then gritting her teeth, she steadied it with a subtle strength that fought the black,
Her lips pursed and sweat beaded on her brow,
Her fingers tangling thread and beads,
Until the sun rose and the candle slowly flickered its last flame,
And the weary eyes closed in relief,
In her weathered hands lay a bead necklace,
The symbol of her fight with death to the finish,
Alone came a wandering grandson,
down the stairs to stop in front of the old woman,
and her renowned beads,
He took the necklace from her silent hands,
And stared at it with warm and cold eyes,
Silently he stalked towards the mantle on the fireplace,
And placed it reverently onto the silver,
The last gift she had ever given...
The bead necklace....

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