The Child Would Be Older

a massacre, a scandal, or a penchant

...a massacre, a scandal, or a penchant.....

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The image here is a drawing that Barnes did of a boastful young Jack Dempsey.

4 The Child Would Be Older

Cold tears, my brave man? Come, my little garçon,
I’ll take you to my girl’s breast and sing you a war song.
Where the horses gather, listen to their hooves strike.
What is a pigeon of a scythe within the wheat like?
Oh, the single, cool thought that we string in childhood,
As clean and as brittle as a small stick of hard-wood.
Now it is a massacre, a scandal, or a penchant.
I’ll cut you down a clear curl, to thicken out your swan-song.

This poem is quite a mystery.