Last Performance at Three


Sits there in the darkness,
swozzle in his throat,
says, 'That's the way to do it'
Well, perhaps it was,
the day before he missed the boat
while in the tented silence
the Crocodile sheds tears
that no-one has believed in
in an age of Policeman's years
and Punch is beaten to it
by the telly and the game
and the sausages are pizzas
as they wait to catch the plane
where three hours distance brings them
other suns and other lands
while here the wind just blows away
the voices in his hands.
In the quiet, Punchinello's laughter
hammers like the rain
and the sounds of clapping children
are missing from his brain
and the Crocodile, of sausages,
has had more than his share
and the Policeman fits onto his hand
as if he wasn't there
now Judy's in Marbella
with the sunshine in her hair
as she spends his last pesetas
on the waiter, working on her tan
she never sees the darkness
in The Punch and Judy Man
 

In the patter of the falling rain
With the deftness of an age,
and the silence of an empty hand,
a curtain draws across a stage
and in the shadow of an aching pier
he packs them all into a van
into their separate little boxes
just as proudly as he can
then drives along the seashore
without ever looking round
In case he sees a child there waving
and his throat will make no sound
and as he opens up the window
to drown the voices in his head
the shower of the rain stings
like applause he once thought dead
but now his smile is fixed and wooden,
solemn, Punchinello grim,
and as he dreams his lives of puppets
feels their hands inside of him
and as they turn his head to see
that plain expanse of sand,
You can hear the heart fall handless
inside The Punch and Judy Man

 

 

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