The clown does Shakespeare
and we laugh.

Hidden waif, tortured reader,
stolen son, serious child,

why do we howl when you misbehave,
cry, when you are kind?

We are all joined in this threadbare costume—
I can live without you, father, but must seek butter,
at least one mutt, or another; I steal without
you, mother, though I never cease to seek you.

I, the child who was no child still playing a child of the wild.
I, the wild found in the child, the child in you and me.
I, the man, chased through mirrors of cost, flight and possession.
I fly, you watch, I wait at the doorstep for you to arrive;
I cross the threshold, step on a loose board, stagger, roof sags,
symphony patiently waits for me to arise, you hold your breath,
a cymbal crash as it falls on my head; it’s so much like life,

that’s what you will say as you leave the theatre,

and the band plays on.

You will always remember me,
the words you never heard.
You will laugh as I sing
my silent song, dance it on your plate
with the food of my sorrow,
look at you with a love that knows you
won’t love me back. But, I will love you
and I will always smile, my eyes sparkle for you,
plain as the moustache painted on my face.

<This begins excerpts from my seventh book Numbers & Piano, and this is the first of three poems in a series titled, 3 Silent Comedians of the Silver Screen.>

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