Victoria Dalkey

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Charmin’ Billy

I don’t know where to put the beat-up table

I can’t part with because my father painted it.

Can’t find the right place for this half-moon

with three squat legs joined by pegs

something out of a tale about a girl

held prisoner by a dwarf, forced to spin

straw into gold, or the one about the princess

locked in a tower until she let her hair down.

Daddy was handsome as a prince that day whistling

Can she bake a cherry pie Billy Boy, Billy Boy?

as he covered the table with a green

dark as the deepest pines in the forest

long before I guess his real name.