tall man, by Alex Siegel

there lived a man so great in height
his sprawling shadow was quite a sight
he set out on a sunny day
along the river he made his way

countless critters followed close behind
eager to see what the man might find
but as the man bent down to drink
the mighty shadow he cast did shrink

and left the creatures in the sun
whose blinding heat spoiled their fun
the man, now quenched, stood upright
but all the critters had taken flight

the man vaguely missed his little friends
he knew he would never see them again
“it’s for the best” the tall man thought
“for critters this path is much too hot”

and so he continued on his way
careful to stay hydrated throughout the day
until the river diverged: north or west?
and he decided to lie down and rest

as he slept the sun did sink
staining the river red and pink
the rising moon made the river roar
whisking the man away from the shore

and carrying him swiftly to an open bay
while the man dreamt of oceans far away
in his dreams he steered the boat
whose buoyant timber kept him afloat

with great force the wind did blow
the waves, invigorated, began to grow
when suddenly the man awoke from the draft
and found himself aboard a raft!

with a most unusual crew
who manned ornate oars in teams of two
it was all the man’s critter friends
the ones he thought he’d never see again

he thought to himself, “what a strange surprise!”
in the darkness glowed their beady eyes
“how did you build this raft and its features?”
but they could not respond, being but creatures

“you can tell me the secret, I’m a creature too”
but the tall man noticed his friends were unmoved
some looked down or stared straight ahead
the man decided to try sign language instead

but unfortunately that did not work
“I’m sick and tired of these little jerks!”
so the man jumped to the aft
and the sudden movement shook the raft

to the sea the critters did spill
all but one the man did kill
and though the last neared its demise
it never shut its beady eyes

which stared sadly at the tall, tall man
who would never see his friends again
and as the last one slipped below the waves
the great man raised his hand and waved

Alex Siegel’s heavenly, honey-sweet voice beckons all the little woodland critters to frolic about in his shadow.

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