Danse Macabre

Tinker tailor he used to chant

counting off on little fingers

now he’s ancient, a skeleton

bones held together

with rubber bands and paper clips

 

but he can still do a jig or hornpipe

digits clattering in the breeze

 

Soldier sailor now he lisps

insignias pasted on his sleeves

stripes and buttons, old war medals

decorate the spaces  between his ribs

 

right leg fighting with his left

arms akimbo, shaking at some inner joke

 

Rich man poor man he’s seen it all

gold doubloons and empty pockets

feasts and weddings, hungry nights

fortune has blown his dreams to dust

 

skin and bones he jumps in the air

ankles castanets on dangling legs

 

And now he’s reached the end of his routine

removes his hat from grinning skull

Beggar man thief and as you drop a coin

he picks your pocket, steals your heart

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© Johnmichael Simon

2016

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