... About myself-for others

The Pantomime

The Pantomime

Some lipgloss, foundation, and a few patches,
He must hurry, for spring nearly hatches.
He paints his entire face white as snow,
To match the gloves he puts on for the show.

He places a teardrop on the corner of his left eye,
Applying red lipstick on his lips which are dry.
He pulls a raggedy, striped undershirt on his chest,
And pins a bright red posy below his breast.

He puts on his off-kilter, rounded, strange hat,
And looks in the mirror at the fright looking back.
He bares his bright teeth, laughing a fake laugh,
Pretending in front of him is a wall made of glass.

He takes time to collect his important belongings,
A non-existent bucket and invisible paint things.
He grasps a rope of air to wrap around his hands,
And drops a see-through paintbrush in the pocket of his pants.

From the door, he stops to take one glance back,
Meanwhile, the growling of his stomach distracts.
The art, for which he gave everything up,
Might bring him a bite today, or at least some luck!

Happily hurrying to the massive square,
He set his things down at his usual spot there.
Just as he placed his imaginary bucket,
He saw a huge, dug-out hole in front of it.

The hole was deep, long, and wide, too,
It sat very close to the sidewalks he knew.
But he didn’t care or pay it any mind,
He longed for applause and to be recognized.

In the beginning, only a few stood and watched,
While he mixed paint in the imagined bucket he brought.
He drew musical notes on the non-existent wall,
And silently sang along to an inaudible song.

Later, many more people arrived,
Laughing cheerily at the jokes he supplied.
On his neck, he braided a loop from the rope,
And created an air bubble to wear as a cloak.

Not long after, the crowd became massive,
Laughing and clapping at the scenes he enacted.
Screaming and shoving, they all wanted to see,
And envelop him in their loving circle of glee.

He knew the crowd was dizzy from delight,
So he prepared for the biggest show of his life.
The rope, as a lasso, he wrangled and threw,
And from the screaming voices, he stepped back a few.

With easy steps, he jumped the curb on the street,
Made a face of distress and leapt into the deep.
A roar of applause followed the big production,
The crowd laughed and called the artist back to the function.

The ovation slowly died down to the quiet of air,
A deadly, strange silence washed over the square.
The viewers scurried away, disturbed in strife,
Turning their back on a man’s broken life.

Translated by: Esther Brownwood 2024.04.30.


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