Just before the Coffin-Lidder
nails the eternal ceiling on,
tell the next-to-highest-bidder
I am going, going, gone.
I pulled a rabbit from my hat,
rejoined the severed ends of flannel;
I left them guessing at all that
then stepped into this secret panel.
La Grande Dame
People would tell me what they’d heard.
I thought their prophecy would miss.
I’d been taught that, in a word,
I was better than all this.
Let the devil play the zither.
Let the angels play their harps.
Given choice, I’d rather
leave a corpus than a corpse.
When Clotho says
you’re out of thread,
that’s not what she means.
She means you’re dead.
by John Stone
from In All This Rain
Louisiana State Press, 1980