Fete

by John Stocks

Dordogne, August

Here the fiddlers and the pipes of reed
the rap of rain on tin
stilled air that flattens sound
the dance begins.

Huck a duck
hands round the neck
time for execution.

The ox for roasting is led in
tugged by the ring.

By the coke stall
sleepy-eyed girls
lounge languorously

A red-cheeked boy
Oblivious, dead-eyed
Juggles apples.

Soon there will be a storm
a whip crack of manic thunder
and a million darts of silver
will pummel the Mere
and rip holes in gaudy stalls
the girls will shriek and run for cover.

And the boy will stand alone
transcending the moment
as the fete cartwheels to oblivion and
the ennobled Ox in silent awe
ruminates; still as the grave.


Copyright © 2009 by John Stocks

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