Sylvia Plath

Dirge For A Joker

Always in the middle of a kiss Came the profane stimulus to cough; Always from teh pulpit during service Leaned the devil prompting you to laugh. Behind mock-ceremony of your grief Lurked the burlesque instinct of the ham; You never altered your amused belief That life was a mere monumental sham. From the comic accident of birth To the final grotesque joke of death Your malady of sacrilegious mirth Spread gay contagion with each clever breath. Now you must play the straight man for a term And tolerate the humor of the worm.

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