John Dickson (1916 – 2009)

November 18, 2009

But when the big bell bongs its twelve
the coach becomes a pumpkin and the coachmen mice.
Her sequined gown regains its tatters
and morning becomes a memory of magic gone.
And the young prince who has been
so trim in his britches, belt and buckler,
so shining in his epaulets and his smile
lopes through his palace halls
reverting to the paunch of his life
a cigar grafted to his lips
flesh slipping from the pinions of his face
and one glass slipper in his hand.

I have not been reading much poetry lately, but I picked up the November issue of Poetry Magazine tonight at the bookstore and found this tribute to the late poet John Dickson on the inside flap. There was no title, and I’m not sure where the poem came from. I scribbled it quickly into my notebook, so I may not have all the punctuation right. In any case, Dickson lived to 93. I dedicate it to you, my aging friends, ever returning to the paunch of your lives! Save me a cigar; I’m not that far behind.

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