by Mark Mansfield
Rude awakenings happen upon you
with more frequency than zombie extras
in The Night of the Living Dead.
A schlock-eyed optimist, your upper lip’s
usually about as stiff as a Shirley Temple
with the extra cherry.
Old Mother Hubbard’s your patron saint
and her dog, Cupboard’s
your guardian angel.
Wandering gamely as a cloud,
you recently awoke to find yourself
strapped to a gurney while your Doppelgänger
and the ER staff finished wolfing down cake emblazoned:
Happy Birthday, Markles!
For you, the glass has never been so much
half-empty or half-full
as typically aimed at your skull
by one of life’s less amiable patrons.
Next to you,
Rumpelstiltskin was Mister Rogers.