Where moon that shone so bright above,
Would set alight the darkening sky,
Revealed the monster with no love
Within his heart, unbeknownst why,
That always hunted through the night.

So twixt the thinning leaves on ground,
He searched for one now out of sight
Curled up atop moss covered mound,
Who’d fled again in hopes he might
Spend such a sunset free from pain.

Though just the same as night before,
The monster managing to gain
On crippled man who ran no more,
As ground had muddied in the rain
And twisted legs meant he would fall.

When as the man saw monster’s face,
He risked a loud and begging call,
For any tree to take his place,
The monster laughed and stood up tall,
And dragged him back towards his cage.

Tomorrow was the final show
Where cripple held the center stage.
I wish I didn’t have to know,
Though he had told me in his rage
How he was treated at the fair.

He thumped the earth and cried aloud,
And what he said I could not bear,
What he must do to please the crowd –
To picture it, my soul would tear,
So, quietly, I wept for him.

Again I heard a shuffled sound,
The cripple merging from the dim
That monster had already found,
And so I acted on a whim –
Through moonlight I began to sing.

The master stopped his given chase,
And looked down at the twisted thing,
Who ran so often to this place
Of trees belonging to the king,
But till today he knew not why.

So as my branches whistled words
And sang with beauty heaven high,
The forest sent it’s chirping birds
That joined our song from nest and sky,
And in the dance the cripple fled.

With master too entranced to care,
He dug my roots from flowers’ bed
And sent for men with hands to spare
To carry me to empty shed,
Where new attraction drew the crowds.

– Jon Best© 2014