Joseph Petrocelli


The Grandfather Clock - Poem by Joseph Petrocelli

An old grandfather clock stood in the hall
In the home of Susan and Bill
Handed down as an heirloom
Passed on through will after will

A story attached to this elegant piece
Said that its bell would sound
When joy burst forth within the home
And love and peace were found

For two hundred years or more
Susan’s family wound its spring
And though the pendulum still swung
Grandfather could no longer sing

And so the clock stood in the hall
Marking time silently
Yet, loved by Bill and Susan
For what it meant to the family

A year passed by for the newly weds
When Bill received the word
The Army Air corps needs you son
Report here by the third

The year was 1942
The world at war once more
And like the wars before it
It knocked at every door

A parting at the station
With tears for the unknown
Susan gave Bill one last kiss
The conductor called…….All Aboard

Bill climbed up in the Santa Fe
And took a window seat
Next to another uniform
Barely through his teens

His wave to Susan haunted her
She wept with fear and dread
As the whistle blew a lonesome tone
Like a dirge unto the dead
To keep her sanity intact
Susan went to work
The night shift in the defense plant
As a mail and filing clerk

And there she passed the lonely nights
With other wives who pined
For loved ones who marched off to war
To their place on battle lines

Bill completed basic
And became a tail gunner
On a ship they called a B52
The crew nicknamed her “Mother”

He was cradled in a bubble
Like a moth in a cocoon
With a Browning M3 between his knees
That would light up all too soon

That bubble would become his life
His living room and den
And outside his picture window
The enemy would send

A hundred thousand Zeros
With one intent in mind
To blow his Mother from the skies
And erase her for all time

On June the ninth the crew were called
To meet for their flight orders
A bombing run to wreak havoc
Just inside the border

A complex where the enemy
Planned their naval strategy
Deployment of their battle ships
To meet the U. S. fleet

So they readied Mother’s bravery
Bill took his cradle seat
And the pilot made her air born
For a flight across the sea


Back home in the Good Old
Susan couldn’t eat or sleep
Bill’s face had been thrust before her
And all she could do was weep

That feeling of dread and despair
Crept into her being
The Bill within her mind blew a kiss……..
And Susan ceased to see him

She fell to the floor, succumbed to feint
Unable to bear the bane
The feeling that her darling Bill
Would never be again………….

She walked in daze for unknown hours
Till the telegram distracted
We are sorry to inform you
That your husband is missing in action

Susan folded to her knees
And appealed to the Saints
Please let this missing man be found
And her heart felt love to sate

Seven months to the day
Of Susan’s heavenly plea
A soldier stopped at the front gate, and said,
“Pardon me Miss, if you please.”

“I’m looking for Miss Susan.
Does she live here still? ”
Susan looked up from the garden
To the grin of her love, Bill

He gained the gait, she ran to him
Her arms aching to embrace
Bill picked her up and kissed her
And they swirled in saving grace

A grandfather clock stood in the hall
And it burst forth with such glory
And chimed the chimes of a thousand joys
The End of My Love Story


Comments about The Grandfather Clock by Joseph Petrocelli

  • Ernestine Northover (3/31/2006 2:09:00 PM)


    No letting go of this one Joe, a long and enjoyable read, a lovely story with a lovely ending. I love Grandfather clocks too. Love Ernestine XXX (Report) Reply

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  • Lagaya Evans (3/31/2006 7:32:00 AM)


    That was very good. Not alot of poems on here can keep my attention but that one did. Good Job!

    Lagaya
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, March 31, 2006



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