Anthony Evan Hecht

(16 January 1923 - 20 October 2004 / New York)

Peekaboo: Three Songs For The Nursery - Poem by Anthony Evan Hecht

The longer thou livest, the more fool thou.


Go hide! Go hide! But through the latticework
Of my upraised bone hands
I see athlete and statesman, priest and clerk
Step forth as deodands.

Risking more than they know of life and limb
In playing Peekaboo—
Whose happiest chances couldn’t be called “slim”—
I’ve tagged each: ICU


Cry; baby, cry!
You’ve got two reasons why.
The first is being born at all:
The second, my peremptory call.
Cry; baby, cry!

Weep, baby, weep!
No solaces in sleep.
Nightmare will ruin your repose
And daylight resurrect your woes.
Weep, baby, weep!


Bah, bah, black sheep, you supply the needs
Plaguing mourners: stylish widows’ weeds.
Haute couture for all the fashion shows.
Black is the color of my true love’s clothes.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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