Dance, Puppet, Dance

by Shawn Allen

th (13)

Painted on tears and a wooden heart –
The marionette dances
When he is told to dance
And then is thrown into the crate
To await the next show.

A favorite of the children by day,
What is he when the delight fades
And the guiding hand
Turns to flesh and the bottle –
Dancing on its own strings?

Old and uncared for:
A long, thin crack in the face
Growing wider each day
Speaks to the end
Once the truth is revealed.

Dancing once again, playing the role,
As the crack spreads
And the paint fades in the bright lights.
When he is released,
Who next will wear the strings?