Bernie.png

Little Bernie lived in a little house with little parents and a little dog,
He had small legs, small arms, and a small head, shaped like a log,
Which other children scorned, mocking his tall fade, a new cut,
Calling him horrible names like “Sky-scraper” or “Pencil-Butt,”
And often the bigger boys picked him up and used his hair
to erase their chalk-markings, made for pictures and Four Square.
Little Bernie’s father told him to man-up, to reply with smack or hit,
But the truth is, Little Bernie’s little head had lesser wit,
By the time he was upside down, he could only frown,
Thus he lived in his town, the village dunce, class clown.
“Bernie my boy,” said his father one day, “You’d better learn to think,
Or you’ll be as useless as old food-scraps flushed down the sink.”
“You’ll be like our little dog,” chimed in his mother, “who vomits
his food on the floor, quickly returning, flying like a mindless comet.”
“Boys that can’t think,” said his father, “end with no jobs, careers,
Or worse, they become like the old rash, mad King Lear,
Who howled on a heath for the times when he was supreme,
When his subjects lived and loved, as if in a dream.”
Bernie heard all this, took it to heart, but his mind was a car
Without a battery to start, he only sat like unmoved tar,
Stuck on the road, run over by tires, doused with oil and scorched by sun.
So Bernie thought little and decided instead he wanted to have some fun,
He sat by the fire and tried, yet couldn’t think of what to do,
He just sat unmoving—an old, forgotten shoe
that had no foot to make it move, until, unwittingly, he rose,
Feeling the fire’s warmth, he drew closer, his mind in repose,
Though abandoning sense, his senses drew him to the heat,
He blinked his eyes, he bent his body, crouched and went to warm his hands,
When lo! He flung his tall fade down like a praying bishop’s mitre, or the band’s
tuba player, who bends at the waist, his hat pointing straight,
So Bernie’s hair went forth, reaching into those flames, the grate,
When Bernie succumbed (all too late) his hair was scorched, singed to the head
through scalp to brain; And Bernie remained dull, like a pencil with no lead.

Broom Snow
The Desert Schooner,
Pecos & Bonanza,
Las Vegas, Nevada
Monday, March 28, 2016

Picture: “Bernie, Who Thought Too Little and Burnt His Brain”
By the author,
Pencil on Paper, 2016

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