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The Christmas Jar

by John Lyhne

Our final breaking point,
Hope, totally dried to dust.
Future bleak as ugly evening news,
alone as we can be.
Sealed off from the outside,
held inside by terror.
Unable to reach outward,
unable to be reached into.
Christmas and we're all alone.
Alone, together but separate,
our daughters with us, alone.
Wife, mother, home from hospital.
Her spirit nearly broken,
with it goes mine.
No more nourishing hope.
We exchange halfhearted gifts.
Going out the front door,
a jar, book, note lying there.
Jar anointed, label handwritten,
"Christmas Jar" it reads.
"For your family, a jar,
a token of new hope"!
Tears begin to stream,
hearts swell up, pounding, 
a renewed sense, connected.
Outside world reentering, 
breaching our softened walls,
healing our loneliness,
our prison of desolation.
You cannot quite fathom,
our heart felt elation, 
new lightness, a renewed joy.
A small jar, change, a few bills.
A tremendous reaching out,
lovingly, anonymously given,
healing wounds, long growing.
The Book, "Christmas Jars",
The story of the first Christmas Jar.
A note, left with jar, 
Suggesting we save our change.
Save, when we are able,
Collect our own jar of coins,
to surprise a new family,
Another hurting family.
A new "Christmas Jar",
sweetest ray of hope,
frowns curled into smiles,
a new sense of connection.
We'll search for another,
a lonely, needy family,
much too easy to find!

John Lyhne is new to the world of poetry and his entry into the poetic realm has been somewhat explosive. An attempt to write a country tune became his first poem. Since that initial poem, he has been churning out poems that touch on aspects of his inner life since becoming a widower and a cancer survivor. "The Christmas Jar" is a true story from a difficult period of his family's life and originally appeared on christmasjar.com, December 2015.