Your Greatest Trick

By Kris Tammer

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And then there’s that thing you do where
you swing by a rope from a tree
and magically disappear
without announcing if you will reappear
or not, and everyone left standing
asks, “Where’s Ben?”, some claiming
there’s nobody by that name in our databases,
then suddenly you’re on display in a box
in a strange room filled with solemn organs
and everyone is bringing you flowers.

So we’re left wandering around from place
to place thinking if a glass is raised that somehow
you’ll rise up through the floor or start
laughing at us from behind a curtain.
Of course, this never happens but we find ourselves
on tenterhooks, thinking we’ve caught a glimpse
of you..  lucidly there.. hazily not here.

We keep trying to replace the glazed gaze between us
with trappings fastened in some typical gesture
by the more traditional endowments of opposable thumbs
but mostly they seem to signal the end of
the end is nigh, and while it’s safe to say
we’ll be ok praying for less significant miracles,
every day is so vast and empty
we really don’t know how to fill it.

– Kris Tammer

Author’s Note: “Your Greatest Trick” won the Words of Wyndham poetry prize on November 2, 2017.