night shift charley (an old watchman’s shrift)

why’d i make him climb all that way
up fifty-five flights of goddam stairs
i didn’t need to break my only neck
in pursuit of prey in the month of may

why’d i make him muck in dung and clay
down sixty-six steps of slippy trails
i didn’t have to snap my only coccyx
in pursuit of prey in trial bay

why’d i make him jump into the fray
against seventy-seven blood streaked fists
i didn’t like to choke on my only teeth
in pursuit of prey when he fell that day

just who was that bolter anyway
what had he done that demanded death
i have soiled my only soul
in pursuit of prey i didn’t want for prey

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