Jerry Lewis Comes Home

Who will we call on to help us
negotiate the tripwires,
to summon the courage to trip,
for we will, inevitably, over
every one and not to dud, please,
but to spring back nonplussed, now
that you have fallen?

Dear Jerry, we aren’t as spry
as we used to be. And tumble
we will over studied nuttiness
or improvised decorum
in the full blare of fluorescents
radiating on rubbed nerves
amid constant calls
for caution.

Though you buttered the bread
the French learned to parbake
they never forgot the you
they embraced
and we willingly relinquished
—no, rejected, or more correctly
could not stand
to look upon
was us.

You slowly came back to our shores,
never having left, the boy still crying
for mother, turning buckets of tears
into showers of confetti.
Can we know you now
as us
and claim you now
as our own, now that your own
have turned
to dust?

 

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