Nightmare at Elmer's Barn
by Bill Stinson
In old Coopers Mills where Elmer does lie
And black coated horses pulling Amish drive by,
Wind up Victrolas play 78s
And the one-eyed doll, Sally, dreams of yesterday’s dates.
Stiff on the shelf, she fights off a sneeze,
The cyclop'd automaton's burden of ease.
(Though when no one’s in earshot, she muzzles achoo,
And the spectacled skunk squeaks a noiseless bless you.)
She heeds no farewells, and she gives no fucks
For her station is fixed now: her mind run amok
With visions of sugar plums that never came ripe
And memories of playtime that ended in spite.
She yearns ‘til it hurts.
The children will pay
For leaving her cold,
A disheveled array
Of parts that are sooty,
And threadbare undressed,
Of unfocused eyeballs
And bad hair unblessed.
The other dolls know, and feel much the same
In this dorm of the zombified playthings of shame.
When the customers leave
She nods to her kind,
And up to the attic
They twitch and unwind.
The steamer trunks rise
To encircle the attic;
The rocking chairs flail
In a violent panic.
The dust that kicked up
Was a fermented brew,
A potion inhaled
By the lunatic crew.
This night never ends for the dolls of the barn,
God save us from all of their harm.