George unwinds the tinsel from the Christmas tree and
as needles
and paper roses
fall to the floor
a forgotten bell rings

Brings him back twelve nights to the bridge
in despair
praying to the air
as he jumps to the river
and its cold release.

Seized in strong arms in the darkness and carried
to rescue
and the words 'I've got you'
pulled to the bankside
a bed of frozen stones.

Groans from the pain and misery, his ear throbbing
dull ringing
and stubborn protests
pushing away the help
taking him to a blinding fire.

Pyre for his life fueled with failure
to loved ones
and his business
when he lost all his money
guilt he'd never forget.

Yet this tramp under the bridge keeps him awake
and alive
with questions of life
buried by this agony
inside and from shivering cold.

Told the vagrant of his earache
a result
of boss's beating
unaware of his mistake
the boy saved countless from poison.

Reasoned he remembered being this cold
and helpless
saving his brother
out of an icy river
now his brother fights for world's freedom.

Pushed on he admits his love at first sight
and blossomed
each passing moment
falling in love and the pool
a life lived for living.

Giving was his work, one based on co-operation
with locals
of loans and equity
lifting people out of hardship
people working together are stronger.

No longer lost, George was warmed and lifted up
homeward bound
to take what happens
to fall and stand up again
where his loved ones await.

Grateful, and it turned out all right anyway
as people
and friends and family
flew to his side
and all looks bright for Christmas Eve.

Even so, he later seeks out the tramp to thank them
as snow melts
and winter sun glows
to shine bright under the bridge
on an empty camp under his glance.

'Clarence was his name' another hobo says
so sadly
'and died from the cold
pulled away from life
or whatever you call this hell.'

Bell gleams and Zuzu's lifted to remove it.
As it rings
George sends a prayer
to whoever is out there
that his guardian gets his wings.

a reQuest to write 'a poem about taking down the Christmas decorations'
written with apologies to It's A Wonderful Life purists.