Monster Mash–by Ken McKeon

(Ken’s poem could be about the search for scapegoats, so ubiquitous in today’s headlines)

Frost famously asked
Which does one prefer,
Fire or ice,

Asked it of himself,
And he chose the burning cold
That hot ice is when stuck to skin
Like a freezing glue that, if ripped,
Scores like a fiery brand!

The roaring lumbering monster
Certainly got a taste of that
Chased as he was by torch bearing peasants,
Led by a good looking madman,
Towards an old mill, they would trap it there,
That creature so dumb and crazed with need,
It blurs the air with pain,
Helplessly mirroring us.
Caught up as we are
So thoroughly in our well trammeled lives

That we scream out for death
To all that bothers us,

The gnats, the errors, the blindness’s,
The shoes that do not fit,
The late newspapers,
The failed internet connections,
The marriages, children, bus drivers,

All the same, all pain, and then,
This monster stumbles by,
He calls us out of ourselves,
He’s full of fret and fright,
He’s wearing our clothes, our face,
He wants some kind king of relief to welcome him
To succor him,
But he’s not even sure what that word means
And he has no dictionary,
He has peasants, peasants with torches,
And he has me, torched by frustration and self-loathing,
And ready to join the parade,
Just as I am and I do, and we chase it into the mill,
And we burn that mill down to silence and ash,
Then we wander away back to our lives,
Still smoldering with our rage, our errors,

But these die down, and the skies cloud up,
And it begins to snow softly, softly snow,
And crystalline granulated ice bound unblinking eyes

Stare up and out through the deepening drifts,
Until, finally so completely covered at last,
Sleep or death must have found them,
Eased them, closed them, it now holds them
In softest silence,
Just as it holds us,
The peasants and me,
Stilled now much as the dozing flames are,
And safely at home now with those we love.

What do we know?

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