I take the skeleton’s hand
& man...do we dance?
I clasp his bony hand in mine
give him a high five and dude...we jive!
No one can touch us now
(we’re in a world of our own) .
We shake, rattle ‘n’ roll...yeah!
Shake, rattle ‘n’ roll
Git into dat kitchen ‘n’ rattle ‘em pots ‘n’ pans
Den den den...den den den!
The skeleton flashes me a toothy grin.
“Man...you the one...you the one...what a groove...we’re in! ”
The transistorised air is alive as song after song drives me on.
The skeleton don’t break sweat!
Me...my scalp prickles...sweat trickles down my spine.
Sunlight spills in the window
& the dust motes go wild.
The skeleton places a bony hand on my clavicle
& I place my hand on his sacroiliac.
We waltz eye socket to eye socket
& patella to patella.
Gene Kelly sings:
What a great day it’s been... what a rare mood I’m in
Why it’s... almost like being in love!
He’s a fine medical specimen.
He dangles from a thread in his head
& the slightest breeze moves him
...gets him going.
I call him Mr. Bo Jangles.
He lives in my Dad’s army sport stores.
From the inner sanctum of his room
my Dad’s army voice booms:
”Donall...leave that bloody skeleton alone! ”
And goes back to counting his balls.
The ledger grows & grows.
(He mutters & mumbles to himself) .
“Balls...soccer...50? ...50! ”
“Balls... rugby...50? ...50! ”
“Balls...medicine...50? ...50! ”
he intones as if chanting a mantra.
I shuffle out...trying to be cool
(in this heat?)
“Yo, see ya later Bo! ”
Years later I see him
in a tiny newspaper article.
Apparently the Army
realise they’ve got a real life skeleton on their hands
& decide to do the decent thing
(remembering the man he’d been)
& bury him
with full military honours
flag draped coffin
& shots fired into the air to scare the crows away.
I wish I could have...been there.
Say my goodbyes.
I smile & whisper
a little prayer:
”Yo, see ya later...Bo! ”