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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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The Cat Skinner 

 

 

 

All heads turn as he walks across the yard

Splendidly dressed, polished boots

Jodhpurs, crimson scarf

Leather jacket, leather helmet

Goggles pulled down to

Mask the face.

 

Hard-bitten working stiffs whisper,

My god, dressed like an ace

From the Great War. All to skin the

Big Cat?

 

The Big Cat roars, bucks, shivers,

And shakes. The Great War ace

Grabs and holds, fighting hard

Against the force that

Threatens obliteration

The Big Cat charging

The ace holding

The splendid clothes dissolving

Into a soggy mess

 

The day ends

The job complete

Time to go home

And face Mama.

 

Mama screams, What did you do

To my boy? His clothes are

Ruined and he’s only five.

 

Daddy says, He’s got to learn

To carry his weight

I started at four

The dust swirls, the new clothes

Soil. Fuel oil seeps

To the skin beneath

The soiled clothes

The battle rages

 

                             -Bill Frank Robinson