The reprobate ate linseed oil,
Then met his friend called Irma Doyle.
Together, smiling, on they went
To Rochester and then to Kent,
In which they met a circus man,
A cook who just with one old pan,
With just two eggs, a pat of butter,
Could spin the taste, with mystic mutter,
Of spot of lamb and breath of kipper,
Then sail upon a Yankee clipper,
Whose proud sails blew in bright blue breeze
Upon the crinkled, silver seas.
…That was the dream that Peasdale had
Upon the quad. He blamed his dad.
He blamed his mom, his teachers too.
Up to the roof a pigeon flew
And looked at him and archly cooed,
Which, Peasdale groused, was low and rude.
And Peasdale walked upon the shore,
Whose brindled rocks spread more and more.
He came back to his sweetheart’s door,
And found her pacing on the floor,
For she’d forgotten all about
The drama of this layabout.
And so he painted his house white
And painted stars upon the night
And lines of bronze to signify
The hills, the linnets thrumming by.
The sidewalk sang beneath his feet,
The goats behind the fence did bleat,
He reached the gate, of brick and gold,
All weather-stained and sagging old,
And then the night swirled round with mist,
He lost the watch upon his wrist.
It hardly mattered any more.
He knocked upon the oaken door.
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Yaacov David Shulman