Corpse & The Duke

The carriage alighted outside

his well-appointed townhouse,

whereupon the elegantly attired

Duc de Charlatan stepped forth

jauntily as the carriage door opened;

Yet within the blink of an eye

his aristocratic frame froze,

as if struck by some sudden palsy,

Awash with incredulity

the Duke’s visage barely managed

to utter the refrain,

” I say,you there fellow! be about

your business or else!”

his carved italianate walking stick

pointing accusingly at the object of his ire,

a person prostrate on the ground,

their frame interjected geometrically

twixt the carriage’s door and the front

door to the Duc de Charlatan’s habitation;

Two footmen were despatched with

immediate haste to confront what

seemed to be layers of still-bound

ragged cloth,

” Be on your way or we shall summon

the Constable!”

The directness of their invective

whilst assuaging his excellency’s ire,

had little effect on the person

remaining prostrate on the footpath;

” Why don’t you move silly fellow ?

before I tread on you!” exclaimed the Duke,

Having ascertained the scene for a while,

the Footmen were prompted,

by conscience perhaps,

to inform his excellency

that the person on the ground

was in fact deceased;

” Such churlish effrontery to persons

of higher standing, incommoding one’s

carefully planned morning!”

extemporised the Duke,

to which a passing neighbour nodded sagely,

as they stepped over the cadaver.

4 thoughts on “Corpse & The Duke

  1. Pushmaotee Subrun

    The ‘high and mighty’ duke seems to be expecting even a corpse to be subservient to him … so used is he to his whims and vanity! What an irony that his callous behaviour is far from hurting the corpse! A wonderful write dear poet Louis Kasatkin!

  2. VijayNair

    The callousness of the elite towards the suffering and deaths of the underprivileged,is brought out convincingly in the portrait of the royal buffoon.

  3. Amita Paul

    The Duke is a familiar figure in the poems of the present poet
    Here the callousness the Duke is brought out through his treatment of the corpse of a poor ragged homeless man on street showing how different the world of the aristocrat is from that of the miserable poor

  4. suzette portes san jose

    the whole point of the insight of the story is the gap between rich and the poor…the aristocrats and the poorest noble…the uncountable rapture of the classy and disregard on humanity.


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