john brown’s

fine parchment     face
suddenly     chantilly
lace    his torso     a doily
perforated     twinkling
with sweet     patient   fungus
shiny maggot-
milled    one old gold trinket    slipped
between two ribs
his legs  folded  and cold

he   too   was somebody’s
honeybunch    and heartleap
his jaw an ox-bone
his eyes full     of lake
his burring voice    booming  out
bold songs     like
john bro-own’s    body
da-da da-da  da  da    da

and   john brown’s    body (da-da da-da  da   da   da)

More Poems by Geraldine Clarkson