Falstaff’s Account || Craig Kurtz

The Devil is no friend of mine
to leave me broke at closing time;
where is my pal, that merry spark
who said drinks were free after dark?
I do recall, when the sun set,
he had a plot to null the debt;
it was his keen and rare device—
just go along, that would suffice.

The Devil’s a dissembling wag
to leave me, quote, holding the bag;
a bag of nothing but due bills
while my ‘best friend’ heads for the hills;
it was his urging, by my troth,
we’d spree, but he would pay duns off;
it seemed a good idea then—
he has persuasions, you might ken.

The Devil is an apostate
to abdicate his whilom mate;
‘twas his design to drink all night,
refusing I thought impolite;
in retrospect, when fiddles played,
the reckoning I might have weighed;
but, when the Devil calls a toast,
discretion’s niggardly engrossed.

Now, here I am at closing time,
admittedly devoid of dime;
it would seem I’m indentured for
the Devil’s jag, son of a whore;
now, there I was, all innocence,
prostrate against his influence;
but I’ll swear on my mother’s grave—
the debit’s his, that scurvy knave.

This was originally published in the Spring 2018 edition of The Helix.


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