Never the Twain (poems from old notebooks, November 2001)

You know Tom loved the lissome Becky
              just the way wax loves the wick.
              And you know his curiosity
made him want to be
              the star of his own funeral
              even if it cost him a lick
              (or ten) of a painful hickory switch.

              And you know Tom would wax dramatic
              to be a curiosity in town,
              and his funeral drew Becky,
all lissome, sad and empty
              (like a night without a star);
              and gravity drew down
              her tears as it pulls everything down.

              And you know how the story ended.
But that was over a hundred years ago—
today, what would Becky be?
Pregnant? Oh, pregnant, possibly
              (maybe Tom’s, maybe not).
              and Tom’d be half-scared, half-gung-ho
              and halfway to Baghdad with no chance

              to be the star of his own funeral,
              his curiosity like a wick
              (guttering) out of wax
              (like a politician facing facts).
And the last lissome girl he kissed?
All scared and sometimes sick.

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
This entry was posted in Art is lies, Art is theft, Death, John MacKenzie, Language, Mark Twain, Poem tweets, Poems from old notebooks, Poetry, Protest poems, Social Commentary, Time, War, War poems and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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