Dónall Dempsey

Veteran Poet - 1,546 Points (15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

The Next Show! - Poem by Dónall Dempsey

I walk into
the cage

which shuts
itself
behind me
with an ominious clang!

There is an audible
hush.
An audience listening
to its own hust.

All my greatest fears
rear up
like tamed tigers
(though never tamed enough)

armed only
with a smile
(unsure of itself)
& whip & chair
ridicilously in hand

(the band giving me a slow
drum roll)
I shout(trying to keep
the tremor out of my voice) :
'Allez...up! '
I shout!

And the lions & tigers & bears
of my 'oh my' childhood
reluctently
(truclently)
obey

with growl & scowl.
Et maintenant...
...s'ill vous plait! '
(the ringmaster speaks French
inside my mind)

I go over
& put my head
in the mouth
of the awesome beast.
Death twinkles
in its eye.
The audience lets out
a palpable sigh.

Will I...won't I
make it?
The lions got
bad breath.
I ask it:
'Have you been eating
garlic? '
And it tears my head
off.

My headless body
takes a bow
(I've got the audience
with me now) .
'How...how
does he do it? '
they gasp.
Mindless now
(thinking...nothing) .
I sit alone
in my trailer
awaiting the next town
...the next show.

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird



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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 5, 2007

Poem Edited: Wednesday, April 13, 2011


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