Empty Bed

The scattered bones bounce off unoccupied graves,
Double-dutch, double-dutch, triple dog dare,
Fibula, tibia fly through the air,
Hula hoop hopscotch hops to the beer:
People are skeletal knaves.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Russ L
    May 04, 2012 @ 05:49:52

    I liked this one for the childlike sense of mischieviosity (yes I know that mischieviosity is not a word but it represents what it elicited in me). The title suggests (to me) a parent checking on their teenage kid at night and finding the bed empty because the kid snuck out of the house. Then the scattered bones bouncing off unoccupied graves a line that describes that same kid shooting craps with some others in the old graveyard around the corner from his house. The dice rattling on tombstones set in concrete because there is nothing left in the graves they once guarded-they are so old. The rest of it feels like those chants that kids come up with when they are jumping rope–the playing of games. “Hula hoop hopscotch, hops to the beer” Marks the transition from game playing to a different kind of social convention by a crowd coming of age found in a pub. The line “People are skeletal knaves.” ends this poem in a quirky fashion for me. Still part of the chant but it’s origin and the people it describes rooted/obscured in mystery
    On the other hand, this could all be just about hopscotch but the wording is flexible to allow both for me. Nice job!


    • wordcoaster
      May 04, 2012 @ 21:03:52

      Thank you so much! I love your analysis–it was supposed to have that jump-rope chant feel, but with a grittier edge to it. I like that you can interpret it either way. Thanks again for your in-depth post; it made my day! 😀


  2. viewingcamelot
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 09:05:19

    I absolutely love this piece. It is Shakespearean force to me. Empty Beds, coupled with the first line, “The scattered bones bounce off unoccupied graves,” gives you the immediate feeling like the ground is waiting to swallow the will-be-dead, and this period of human frivolity bounces against that inevitability with every hopscotch. This is a powerful, timeless piece David.


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