What is a King?



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The king has died, the king is dead
They’re minting special coins
They’re firing rifles in the air
Birds are scattering everywhere

The king has died, the king is dead
It’s all over the news
The writers right and the writers left
Are rifling through the things he said

What is a king, what is a king?
But dirt surrounded by a ring
Of men in suits, of men with guns
Some pointed out, some pointed in

Who built the roads, who built the rail
Not the king with the silky hands
Never knew the soil nor splinter
He flew abroad for every winter

Who fired the shots, who dug the holes?
Who drove the trucks and trains?
Who put their wages in the banks
To furnish him with bombs and tanks?

What is a king, what is a king?
But dirt surrounded by a ring
Of men in suits, of men with guns
Some pointed out, some pointed in

The king has died, the king is dead
There’s children waving flags
Look how well the children sing
How well the song fit for a king

Oh boy, oh girl, oh let this be
A footnote to his fugue
They may shoot you down for not digging
But the earth remains unmoved

What is a king, what is a king?
But dirt surrounded by a ring
Of men in suits, of men with guns
Some pointed out, some pointed in


© Brendan Bonsack
December 2016