December 21, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Carol Norquist photo



Dewell H. Byrd




Bittersweet Christmas (1943)



Yesterday I saw a double rainbow arching over

the school house and I marveled at the way color

did not drain to each end.  I instantly felt


drawn to our old front porch filled with family,

laughter, HIS children struck by a double rainbow.


First Christmas I remember was filled with laughter:

no tree, no gifts, no tinsel, just lots of people…

relatives with fun pranks, games, stories and love.


Our house fairly shook 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 both ends.


Silence was broken with gasps of wonder as people

smiled, touched each other and some remembered

HIS promise in living color of water and light.


Later two army officers brought a black-edged

telegram from the War Department to my Mom.






Dewell H. Byrd

Dewell H. Byrd is a retired school administrator living with his wife Elsa on California’s beautiful north coast among magnificent redwood trees. Family, love garden, nature and history are his favorite poetic subjects. Dewell is a consummate storyteller and people watcher. His poetry often captures common, everyday people in unusual moments.

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