The rag-and-bone shop of the heart

Old iron old bones old rags
       images of my childhood
of sun piercing through
       grey clouds
moments of illumination
       and deep joy

An age of innocence
       and simple pleasures
of spelling and arithmetic
       and endless games
in the school yard
       At Christmas
we played the Nativity
       and at Easter
the passion of Resurrection
       stirred our souls

and in those infant days
       we were closer to heaven
than we would ever get again
       In the summer we danced
and hopped and skipped
       and played in the fields
and it seemed to us
       that life was endless
and that love would never
       break our hearts

John Lyons