Friday, October 31, 2008

Half & Half

A Sestina

My name is Bobbi Cork and I
Was a Half-and-Half long ago
When the sideshow had its heyday.
I stood upon a tiny stage
Selling post cards and if you would
Pay one more dime I’d show you both.

Chang and Eng Bunker, I knew them both.
Created by God not like I.
Wishing all their life that they would
Be free, but together they’d go
From circus to museum stage
One-in-one until their dying day.

Even sadder back in my day
Were the Toccis Twin boys, who both
Stood on one set of legs on stage.
They did not live long, unlike I,
Who lived to see freaks come and go.
You claim you wouldn’t look. You would.

If we couldn’t display what would
We do to live back in the day?
Where do you think a freak could go?
To poorhouse or graveyard or both.
Locked away out of sight? Not I.
Give me the freedom of the stage.

Sell a ticket to the tent stage.
I will show the rubes what I would
For the dimes that I earn when I
Tell them “you won’t forget this day!
Behind this curtain I’ll show you both.
Don’t miss that sight before you go!”

One more thin dime to have a go
At seeing more than shown on stage.
I’m the Half-and-Half and have both.
I know you think that this life would
Grow wearisome day after day,
But you are not the same as I.

So here stay I after you go.
Freak of my day, free on the stage.
Would you like both? I bet you would!

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