Poem One: The Juggler

The Juggler

One step, two steps, tickly under there
The old rhyme bounced around the cellar.
The Juggler was hidden in the dust, watching –
The mother of the house was a singer, you see.
That was before her mouth was caught in an O
Cheeks like cracked paint, eyes bloodshot with inky evil
A child with a fetish for penknives and skin-canvas
Hurts
(By all accounts)

The Juggler sang;
One step, two steps, tickly under there
(Before the mother’s child
Was hung from the rafters
Little legs swinging in T-bar shoes)

The Juggler skipped with ecstasy
Up, up, up to the attic.
The bow-tied father liked to pace
Between the skeletons of Singer Sewers
And trap doors with white chalk messages all over.

The Juggler wrote;
One step, two steps, tickly under there.
(Before thegoodhusbandfather heard the sob of his wife
And knew that ripped floorboards and sharp splinters
Made as good a knife as any)

The Juggler had always loved how
Jugular and Juggler were so similar
He had them both now.

The Juggler giggled;
One step, two steps, tickly under there

– Jennifer Poyntz

 

 

 

 

– All Rights Reserved, Jennifer Poyntz. I have complete and legal ownership of the work shown here.

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