It's just poetry, it won't bite

La Douleur Exquise

05.20.19 Posted in today's words by

KJ Hannah Greenberg’s most recent poem to appear here was “Entrepreneurs at More Than Six eBay Shops” (February 2018)

La Douleur Exquise
By KJ Hannah Greenberg

That farm girl was jonesing for a ticket far from williwags.
Crusty enmity made her clumsy, but her future depended
On her father’s vetting process. Any child assigned cachet
Competed in spelling bees, science fairs, beauty pageants.
Problem was, terpsichorean maiden’s lone talent seemed
Singing random cows to homesteads from distant pastures.

Whereas reynards’ kidnapping and killing barnyard fowl
Increased when nocturnal lowing went missing, that gal’s
Gift, likewise, went unnoticed. Hence, her folks were not
Surprised—she took up with the circus rather than finish
High school. Only her dog and best friend had put up with
The snorts, grunts, bellows, she’d used to call cattle home.

Elsewhere, in sequin tights and fishnet gloves, pretty gals
Spun circles in high tents, bound from clown cars, besides
Rode on bears, camels, elephants, zebras. Their circumflex
Routes mesmerized small town grownups, children, aged,
Illustrated for city slickers la douleur exquise, employed
Our heroine in mucking out stalls, bidding tigers to cages.

One late afternoon, however, whisperer got knocked over,
Hurled across an exercise plaza, tossed by a formidable
Lioness. Suddenly ataxic, she cried fear, failure. Animals,
Obeyed her! Dislodging snot, discharging gas, as well as
Leaking from orifices, counting stairs to heaven, reciting
Final vows, she readied for her terminating performance.

In its place, a hick from a distant vale cooed full-sized cat,
Snuggled close, kissed like an infant, purred as it skulked,
Gently urged areturn jail. He asked, then received her job,
Never weighing how “altruistic” moments cost more than
Life. She refused his troth, left the big top, became famous
As a casino dealer, richer than even contracted ring masters.

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