The Ancient Singer

Someone’s stumbling on the prayer
Everyone tripping on the way
They’d sew me a new coat
Where the treadle machine’s stored
Hoping we don’t break our necks
Brush away cobwebs and breathe dust
Filtered light holding darkness almost
We know nothing about what’s waiting
Not remembering if we ever did
Muttering the same mumbo-jumbo
Following the leader’s old game
To keep us safe we recite from memory
The ascent to the top’s treacherous
Everything being seen so dimly
One bulb burns like an old yellow tooth
All small flickers of brightening blinding
An epileptic’s nightmare lighting condition
I begin to fear the outcome of all this planning
My vague memories of hating coats and ties
Confirmed when I see the old machine
Such rust and corrosion and dilapidation
And the God awful material they’ve chosen
Think ugly and you’ll picture it clearly
But there’s no way they’re clothing me in this
That, at least’s, no lie
I turn back downstairs
Swear I’ll never ever wear
This cloth in which they’d dress me

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