King in the Hole
once upon a hotchpotch crime scene
before the new law
had sucked the lippy off each of our written histories
a king lived in a hole for to live there
(a witch put him on to it
she stole his capacity to know better
toad-turning that capacity
and then squeezing a beautifudge son from that toad)
(there was something small though pivotal amiss with the lad
as there always will be with a trick-made child)
The spelled woods marched round the king’s hole in ever circles
stomp stomp stomp stomp
the flicky leaves shook cretinous with each stomp
This foolishness of the trees stuck in the king’s sophisticated craw
as the vile witch had guessed it would
Each circle of trees marched round the opposite way to the next
so that viewed from above
the whole obnoxious pageant looked like a busby berkeley dance routine
with all that that implies
Round and round they went
Round and round the furious axel of king in his hubcap crown
as the beautiful son
(some way off)
discovered bit by ticklish bit that which was awry and furious
Mine and Marcie’s private parts,
they have more in common with each other
than they do with us.
They’d be so happy together down in the
woods, throwing pinecones, sniffing the wildflowers,
hiding behind the big trees, jumping out and laughing,
scenting the summer air with cute effervescence.
Then out in the big field
that leans down toward the brook
they’d picnic on cucumber sandwiches washed down
with ginger beer.
I can see them now as they lie back and watch
the drifting clouds without a thought in their minds
because they have no minds to speak of.
Hand in hand down by the lake they’d walk
wordlessly, smoking French cigarettes,
or sucking the boiled sweets
they sometimes share, and stiffening a little in the warm breeze.
There’s nothing but grit and sunshine
and that delicious hopelessness that makes a privy p to smile.
Mark Waldron has published four poetry collections, his most recent, Sweet, like Rinky-Dink, with Bloodaxe Books in 2019. He was named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society in 2014.