A Challenge Poem

The Devil’s Instrument

John Shore, Sergeant Trumpeter
to the Court of Queen Ann
named his invention
a pitch-fork—
eminently more clever
than our name for it:
tuning fork.

His moniker
catches the sentiments
of those who hear
its piercing, clear sound
bore through the brain
from one ear to the other
and back.

Since his day, the tool
has been further “perfected”
with magnets
placed between the tines,
causing them to quaver
for longer and longer
periods of time.

Satan’s little pitch-fork
burrows through flesh
and bone, chatters
teeth in their sockets,
drives men to madness
and deeds of wrath.


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