robert dickerson

Bedtime Story I - Poem by robert dickerson

Propped on three pillows
in the convalescent bed
from a book of odd tales
(how really awfully pleasant)
Mother was reading him
or, how the canny girl
who talked too much
learned the catalytic name
of the mean little man
whose moment of human musing
proved his undoing.

'Wait', said Mom.
The mattress rose and sank as she got up
and hurried to the bathroom
whence came the rip-rip
of surgical tape too tightly drawn
being loosened. It was all right.
He wasn't worried. In this life
all stories have happy endings.
You just had to wait.
In a moment she came back
and just where it broke off
the tale resumed

Of how the clever girl
with cruel irony
guessed one false name-
Gary, say, then
another, say Tom,
before guessing (quite correctly,
thus winning the bet)
The name laughed out by the horrid little man
dancing only with his shadow
'round the spark-spewing flame
up to the starry dome:
she would be princess yet!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 25, 2011

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 19, 2011

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