School For Minstrels
Lies flew out of his mouth like blackbirds;
A beautiful onyx rain.
When I woke up that morning,
Luxury seemed a birthright.
Far away, tired soldiers marched with bibles, tobacco, and my picture tucked away in their packs
As if I could care.
The sun rose.
I leant in the stone window and ate a peach.
The minstrel roamed the cobblestones, singing songs of glorious battle--
I threw a shoe at him,
But half way down, it grew wings and perched on his shoulder,
White as a lily.
The ghosts that evening strutted like grandees--
Clouds lounged in my bed.
Plotters lurked outside my door,
Shivs hanging from their robes like crosses.
I had the minstrel killed, brought in, and served up as supper--
I picked at my food.
I said, "I want a woman,"
The way one might say, "I want the devil to shine my shoes."
My family paused, mouths stuffed full,
Then threw me out.
Now I sit in the street before dawn, singing love songs--
I don't believe a word of any of them;
I have nothing.
I am scorned by all.
But I wait well into the afternoon for a particular chambermaid I fancy to pass by...
She always carries a single ripe peach in the pocket of her apron.
I must have it,
And despite my lack of faith, and my absurd feckless history,
I am wiser now than I ever was before,
And am quite prepared to humble myself.
I am ready and eager