Photo by Free Illustrated (Pixabay)

Significant Sorrows

Victoria Leigh Bennett

(ekphrasis on the Mother Goose nursery rhyme, “Hey Diddle, Diddle”)

I weep for dogs in pantaloons,

I grieve for cats in tuxes,

And give my greatest sympathies

To speechifying duckses,

Whose stately gaiters are so tight

They cannot handle cruxes

Of arguments and rhetoric

Without a lot of mucksis

That gathers on their flappy toes

As they pursue true luxus.

Where mourns a walrus,

There mourn I,

Because they are too fat

To look divine in negligées

Without a black top hat.

Because, you see, top hats are worn

At times of misty moons,

But walruses sleep on the beach,

And dare not wake too soon,

Lest their white tusks

Reflect the orb, 

Distort the sprightly lune 

That all too often causes them

To warble out of tune.

I cannot stop to talk to those

Who will not show a crow

Which way the nearest clean loo is

Or how the railroad goes.

For crows have been great travelers,

From day one up to now,

And are always amenable

To letting one know how

To reach the nearest circus tent,

And more, how to sneak in,

And you can’t fault their cleanliness,

Though they’ll join in the din

And croak and call the ringmaster

When he lifts up his fin.

For he, you know, is not just any fish

Out of the pond,

But wields a burning tabor,

And a magic, briar wand!

And in his private sitting room,

He often does debate

With cockroaches and little bugs

What tool should be his fate,

And if he should revert to use

A willow wand instead,

But that, the ants have told him,

Proves he’s gone out of his head!

For willow is for witches,

And the ringmaster has said

He’ll never marry any witch,

Unless her hair is red,

And she has wings and caudal tail,

And answers to “Anned.”

So, all these many kinds of folk,

All them and many more

Have my sincerest tears

And such, shed on life’s crying shore.

But you know there are times when I

Do think a bit and see,

And then I hope these many souls

Do mope some just for me!

Victoria Leigh Bennett, Ph.D., English/Theater. In-Print: Poems from the Northeast, 2021; OOP but on website: Scenes de la Vie Americaine (en Paris), 2022. From Fall 2021-Summer 2023, has published 39 times in: @HooghlyReview, @FeversOf, @press_roi, @LovesDiscretion, @TheUnconCourier, & 7 others. Coming: Oct: Fiction in @HooghlyReview, Nov: 4 poems, @Dreich25197318. 

Twitter: @vicklbennett & @PoetsonThursday