Written well before Firefly, children. This poem is a mash-up of Robert Service, Hugh Antoine D’Arcy, and John Varley, written in ballad form. It appears in the Southern Indiana Writers’ anthology FUTURE PERFECT (TENSE IN SPACE).
by Marian Allen
A bunch of us clones were lapping it up
On Laredo’s second moon.
We were there with Dan,
And we’d cowed the whole saloon.
Now, Death-Ray Dan was a western buff,
And he dressed himself like that–
Nine tough galoots,
Eight leisure suits,
One cowboy, complete with hat.
Dan was with Miss Belle LaFleur,
A gal he thought he owned.
She was quite a dish
And she made us wish
That she was multi-cloned.
The door swung wide and a man stepped in
Dressed just like Death-Ray Dan
With the mask and hat
And the stranger sat
And faced Dan man-to-man.
“This town is mine,” he said to Dan.
“It’s mine by fist and gun.
I got eight boys
That’ll make these toys
Of yours turn tail and run.”
“Well, trot ’em out!” Dan growled. Sez Dan,
“Let’s see you back your bluff!”
Us clones spread out
‘Cause there weren’t a doubt
This guy was plenty tough.
His clones came in when he told ’em to,
And we blamed it on the booze:
For every cuss
Looked just like us —
Not a clue to whose were whose.
Dan dropped his jaw. The stranger laughed
And threw aside his mask.
Dan said, “But how — “
Said the stranger, “Now,
You very well might ask.”
“Us two was twins,” the stranger said,
“And still are, to this day.
Mom changed her genes
And, to save bad scenes,
Dad went his sep’rate way.
“Each took a twin and settled down
And put the past aside
But the story true
Dad–Mom, to you–
Told just before he died.”
So Dan and his twin caught up on the life
They’d never shared before.
The rest of us drank
Till we shivered and sank,
The clones on the barroom floor.
WRITING PROMPT: Mash up a poem and a short story that have nothing in common and write them in a style foreign to at least one of them.