LITUANUS
LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
 
Volume 49, No.1 - Spring 2003
Editor of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright 2003 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Lituanus

THE BELL

IRENE GUILFORD

The bell is brass, a small upside down teacup, the simplest of objects, and curved. A square handle dips through the roof, a clapper hooked to its underside. The handle, covered with swirls and dots, is worn from use and bent from the pressure of fingers and a journey across the sea. The clapper, a single stroke of iron, ends in two wrapped rings for feet. Two concentric grooves run round the rim. The edge is wavy and thin.

If you hold the bell by the handle, it rings crystal. If you hold it by the body, the clapper falls dull and flat.

My fingers slide along the surface, feeling my grandmother's fingertips, her hands and her heart as she walked from building to building on the farm back home during storms, keeping them safe with the ring of a bell.

I turn it over. Blow into its hollow.

Her breath flies out, surprised.