In the school on the hill
While his classmates
Bow their heads in silent prayer
You Boy
Quite the bold buccaneer
In his swaggering hat,
Navigates forgotten seas
Where derelicts drift
Buoyed up on weed
Or he’s lashed to the wheel
As waves curving claws
Slash down from topmast
To keel
Or making safe anchorage
To hack-wade his way
Through some Midnight-forest
Brimming with decay:
While his classmates speculate
How many angels
Can dance on a pinhead,
You Boy imagines
The Good Thief’s eyes
Peeled out by a passing crow:
While his classmates
Conjugate causes
Of the French Revolution
You Boy
Sees De Sade unexpectedly freed
Blinking in the sudden daylight,
As The Bastille burns
And blades are sharpened,
As his classmates
Some corner of a foreign field
You Boy
Imagines a rat
Scurrying No-Man’s Land
That pauses to whisker a poppy
Before burrowing deep
Into bloated carrion
And as he and his classmates
Queue for their dinner
You Boy
Imagines himself
Fedora pulled low,
Stepping through the door
Of an almost deserted restaurant
As alone at a far table
Some fat guy eats veal.

You Boy takes a step
And unholsters his gun,
Takes a step
And brings it up level
Takes a step
And pulls the trigger.

That’s better! he thinks:





Kevin Patrick McCann

Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Good Shepherd Detail

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