The Fathers - Poem by Elizabeth Holmes
Traditionally, the same actor plays Captain Hook
and Mr. Darling.
-- The Picture Book of Peter Pan (c. 1930)
Something's familiar about that villain
striding the deck of the Jolly Roger, chest
puffed out under the fancy jabot --
a bit like, yes, like Father huffing around
before an evening out, proper shirtfront
outthrust by an important bay window.
Particular about his cuff links as a pirate
about lace at his wrists. Same air of dashing
yet dastardly middle age. A penchant
for issuing orders and threats, and tying
up uncooperative dogs or Indian princesses.
No wonder we sons and daughters laugh
when Hook sits on the hot toadstool
over Peter's chimney, when Tinker Bell
flits out of his grasp. And especially
at his slapstick flailing through the sea,
pursued by that confident long-jawed beast,
time ticking loud in its belly.
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