The Cat Skinner by Bill Frank Robinson

All heads tum as he walks across the yard
Splendidly dressed, polished boots
Jodhpurs, crimson scarf
Leather jacket, leather helmet
Goggles pulled down to
Mask his face

Hard-bitten working stiffs whisper,
"My god, dressed like an ace
From the Great War. All to skin the
Big Cat?"

The Big Cat roars, bucks, shivers,
And shakes. The Great War ace
Grabs and holds, fighting hard
Against the force that
Threatens obliteration

The dust swirls, the new clothes
Soil. Fuel oil seeps
To the skin beneath
The soiled clothes

The battle rages
The Big Cat charging
The ace holding
The splendid clothes dissolving
Into a soggy mess

The day ends
The job complete
Time to go home
And face Mama

Mama screams, "What did you do
To my boy? His clothes are
Ruined and he's only five"

Daddy says, "He's got to learn
To carry his weight
I started at four"

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