poetry by Carl Buchanan

Jill and Jack

This is the house Jack and Jill built
after the wedding.  Both of them had paled.
He had stopped feeling just what she felt,

she thought, as she slipped off and knelt.
They had built much too close to the woods,
perhaps, so the sunshine had failed,

and mushroom things inched closer.  The red hood
and her slippers don’t glow now, by moonlight;
the moon has been carried away.  It sailed

for the sea she and he had heard of, far
on the world’s sleep side, where dragon and sword
lie, and gold, golden toys.  Now Jack lies at night

in a fever, and Jill cannot find her old star.
She tumbles badly.  An odd light
in the forest, gold wink or a will o’ the wisp, fixes

her loyalty now.  She lets loose, and down the hole
she falls.  And there we close this book,
forgetting our offhand look, for Jack mustn’t fail,

nor Jill find Hell.  Not in a fairy tale.

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