Thursday, December 10, 2015


One day Verlaine's mother saw
That a ringer had slipped in
Among the bottles where she kept
Her four unborn sons.
The bottles all looked the same
Their inhabitants staring as usual.
When Verlaine reeled home
He confessed he'd pawned one of his brothers
But, finding himself in funds again,
Had returned to redeem him
Only to find the pawnshop clerk
Offering him two labelless bottles;
He brought both of them home.
"But surely you noticed one was a girl?"
"I am the drunken glory of French poetry
And, as such, need not pay taxes
Or concern myself with infant genitalia."

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