Hell’s Pawn Shop

I didn’t want to call you devil.
Honestly I didn’t.
You made me do it,
speaking in your best
Father-of-Lies voice:
the learned lecturer,
enlightened elitist,
Professor Figured-It-Out,
Doctor Know-Better-Than-You,
orating in your best
Benevolent Dictation.

And as soon as I name you
any of these,
you already had me beat,
already had me cast
as The Outmoded,
The Throwback,
me and my kind,
The Knuckle-Drag Dregs,
reactionaries all –
indeed, you called me devil first!
(‘Odd Fish! Devil Fish!
Cut the suckers! Cut the suckers!’)
Beat me to it – flawless strategy
of The Accuser.

But I know you’re not literally
the Devil’s Pawn
or Hell Spawn
(there’s too much Heaven in you
for a start).
Hell, we’re all in
Hell’s Pawn Shop
and it’s just a matter of who’s
Bought Back.

I know that,
and I hope you
come to know it too
and change tack.

Look, you hear that?
The authentic gold specie
has been laid
on the glass display-case counter
with a distinct clink,
the seedy-eyed clerk
begrudgingly ringing up the sale.

Come on.
Step down.
Let’s go.


‘Masks and Death: 2013’ by Bill Rogers (aka Giveawayboy)


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