Friday, October 30, 2015

Clown Skeleton



author’s note:

Did I actually find a skeleton in an old pickup trunk, as stated in the poem below?

Well, I did happen upon the rusted-out truck pictured above.  And if you focus very intently for a spell, you might indeed see a skeleton.

Happy Halloween!


CLOWN SKELETON

In the forest beyond
an abandoned burial ground
I found an intact human skeleton
upright in the driver’s seat
of a rusted pickup truck shell

but my shock soon dissipated
as I tiptoed over to investigate:

though delicate hand bones
held the wheel as if to steer
I sensed no spirit
inhabiting that antique frame.

I felt no threat:
the skull had lost its death grin
with the falling of the front teeth.

Instead, the specter
that would mock us
was itself mocked
because an earlier visitor
had stuck a silly baseball cap
atop the cranium.

Even so, I continued to stare
into the empty eye sockets
hoping to prompt in myself
some sense of the unseen mystery
--the invisible reality--
that I believe (I hope!)
is an active part of our world.

But when my neck hairs
finally began to rise
the fright came from this question:

might I likewise end my days
in a dry scrub forest?--
going nowhere, nowhere to go--alone:
a derelict in a derelict truck--
a clown set of bones--

a blank for a mouth--
a blank for a voice...?

Shocked by the thought
I walked away from that encounter
feeling most fortunate--

again the Death card
had appeared in my deck
to stir a sense of urgency
and reawaken my resolve.


© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Butterfly Soul: the book

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