Variations on a theme by William Carlos Williams

Poem for April 21st

Variations on a theme by William Carlos Williams

(after Kenneth Koch)

1.

I set fire to the derelict house which was your only means of shelter.
I’m sorry but the lighter was new and I get bored around six
and the flame was so enticing.

2.

We laughed at the lambs together, how they went down on their knees,
and then I shot one or two.
Forgive me, I do not yet understand the etiquette of fun.

3.

I gave away all the monkeys you’d saved to live with for the next ten years.
The man who asked for them was flabby
and the wind stamping through the corridors that day was just spot-on.

4.

Last evening we went motor-cross racing and I ran you over.
Forgive me, I was distracted ,and
I wanted you on the ward where I am the orthopaedic surgeon!

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