The Ringing of the Chimes

When I hear the breeze roll,
I look outside at the chimes
And I hear them gently toll:
They sing of diff’rent times.

They tell of times gone by,
When we used to play
And as we did, time would fly;
But those were diff’rent days.

The chimes ring more now-
Almost daily I hear their song,
Only when I’m home, somehow;
I listen every time, for it isn’t long.

On some still days, though,
I can hear the chimes ring
Even if the wind doesn’t blow:
I hear the soft metal sing.

The stillness of the trees,
The taciturn birds at twilight,
The silent crickets and bees;
The chimes pierce all in the fading light.

It wouldn’t bother me so
But I sometimes hear her sing:
“Why, why, why did I have to go?
While the chimes did softly ring?”

She was my sister, my friend,
And my, how we used to play!
Until, that is, she met her end;
I can still remember that day:

The wind blew faint that morn,
And we were out in the yard-
It was the day our brother was born;
But that day now left us scarred.

We were playing near the pool
Inflated to help cool off in the heat;
We were happy to be out of school
And our new brother to later meet.

But something odd did happen
When she climbed into the water-
The water against her, lapping-
Something that felt like a bother.

I heard on the wind a voice,
A voice as soft as the chimes-
A gentle sound, a calming noise-
It spoke to me for the first time.

As I looked at my sister splash about,
I heard the low voice talk to me,
And what it said, well, I have no doubt;
It told me of how things would be.

When my parents returned, it said,
There would be no room for me;
It started to plant doubt in my head
And all it asked was for me to see:

There would be no place to grow,
There would be no room for me,
So one of us would have to go
And I knew the way it had to be.

My sister then called me to join,
But, there was no room for me!
I knew that I needed to flip no coin;
I knew that it was either her or me.

I said to her as she splashed about,
“There is no room for me,
But I don’t want you to get out!
Could you show something to me?”

She asked me what I wanted to see,
To which I replied, “I would like to know
How long under the water you can be
With a single breath of air, no more?”

She smiled and said it would be easy
All I had to do was count the time;
She took a gulp of air; the day was breezy
And the wind gently stirred the chimes.

She went under the water, face down;
I heard the voice speak to me once more,
“Now!” it said, “let’s see her drown!”
And I remembered the thoughts from before.

While she was under the water,
I held her neck still in place,
I drowned my parents’ daughter;
The gentle breeze blowing in my face.

I heard her scream from inside
But listened instead to the chimes;
I felt her grow weak until she had died;
I did as she asked and I counted the time.

Then something bizarre took place:
She climbed out of her body in the pool,
She stood before me, pain on her face;
The yard suddenly grew a little more cool.

As the breeze started to grow,
I heard my sister softly sing,
“Why, why, why did you make me go?
While the chimes did softly ring?”

The house grew silent all of a sudden,
No birds did sing, nor the trees did stir,
I allowed the silence to gently flood in;
Save the chimes, nothing was as it were.

My parents came home later that eve
And found me motionless in the yard,
They looked in the pool and couldn’t believe:
Their daughter was in there- still and hard.

They wept for their daughter-
Their eldest child- taken away,
Drowned in four feet of water;
Cursing what was till then a joyous day.

They wept and let their sorrow flow
And in the windy eve, they softly did sing,
“Why, why, why did she have to go?
While the chimes do softly ring?”

That was the last time we used the pool,
And my parents didn’t let me swim ever,
Not even when it was sports hour at school;
I guess they felt I wasn’t able or clever!

But it’s been a few years since she died,
And my brother has grown a little older,
I feel all our tears have now been cried;
We must, for his sake, be happier and bolder.

Some days, when I hear the chimes ring,
I hear the voice that I heard years before.
Only, when it comes, a new song it does sing;
It has a new task for me: a new chore.

Some days when my brother and I play,
I hear the voice, carried on the breeze,
It speaks to me clearly, as it did that day,
And I feel myself listen to it with ease.

“You finally have the love you require,
But it could be better, if you listen to us:
We know it’s more affection you desire,
So get rid of your brother and don’t make a fuss.”

I know what it’s trying to do: my thoughts are clear
And I don’t always listen to and do what it does say.
But sometimes I feel that it is right and this I fear;
Because my brother just may be in danger. Some day.