Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Emperor Has No Closure

Emperor Jack chased his mother’s skirt across the well manicured lawn.
Everything he needed could be had with speed and precision.
But everything he wanted was always just out of reach.
Mother was supervising the restoration of the old pavilion.
She was especially concerned about the custom glass and the cornice work.
Workers in white coveralls scurried out of Mother’s path,
Leaving the Foreman exposed and vulnerable despite the clipboard in his hand.
“Ah, Madam,” the Foreman said with a minimal nod of the head.
Emperor Jack, skidding to a stop to avoid bumping into Mother’s backside.
He was not an expert in the intricate rituals of courtly protocol,
But he was sure proper respect was not being paid.
“You can see,” continued the Foreman, sweeping the site with the clipboard,
“The work is progressing apace. Although the glazers will require significant flogging
If we hope to finish the work on schedule.”
As if to punctuate this feeble statement with an oversized exclamation point,
A man with a trowel yelped and jumped backward
Just as a twelve-foot pane of glass fell out of its frame
Shattering into ten-thousand shimmering pieces
With a curiously muted sound.
One triangular segment slid across the pavement
Coming to a stop only an inch from Mother’s ruby slipper.
Emperor Jack noticed a small red splotch on a corner of the glass.
Horrified, he felt sure it was a flake of red from Mother’s shoe.
Then with relief, he thought it was only the worker’s blood.
But with growing puzzlement, Emperor Jack watched the red
Solidify and clarify its form into a circle made up of printed letters,
A logo of some sort printed on the corner of the pane of glass.
“Callard & Bowser: Confectioners”
“The sugar glass is not strong enough, Madam,” the Forman stated.
“And it will surly not survive the rainy season.”
Mother reduced her eyes to sinister slits and stared at the Forman.
“It is you who will receive a flogging if schedules are not met.”
Mother spun, skirts expanding like parasols, and stalked away from the pavilion.
Emperor Jack snatched up the triangular fragment from the pavement.
He waved it under the nose of the Foreman like a dagger.
Then Emperor Jack bit off a large portion of the sugar glass.
Emperor Jack chased his Mother’s skirts across the well manicured lawn.
He did not need the confectioner’s glass.
But he wanted it.
Even as it cut his tongue.

No comments: