Jen Mierisch: The Ballad Of Bob And Jilly

It was a pleasant afternoon
In the merry month of May,
When Bob walked into Lou’s Tattoos
That fateful springtime day.

Bob asked for a dancing girl
Upon his left bicep,
With flowers in her raven hair,
And salsa in her step.

Lou looked over at Bob’s right arm,
Where a heart, as red as rage,
Its banner reading “JILLY,”
Was from a bygone age.

They’d be in close proximity,
The dancer and the heart.
But Lou was not a counselor.
His milieu was art.

And so it was, the señorita
Slowly came to life,
Smiling there on Bob’s left arm,
Across from his late wife.

Two days after, Bob returned,
All trembling and white,
Removed his shirt, and everyone
Was startled at the sight.

His chest was scratched till it was raw,
And likewise, on his back,
Engraved across his shoulder blades
A brutal, bloody track.

He’d been to Dr. Donovan
For medical advice.
The doc ruled out psoriasis,
And heart attack, and lice.

“The clinic tests said not a thing
Is physically wrong.
But Lou, I tell ya, I’m afraid
They just don’t get along.”

And then, before their very eyes,
The pair began to fight.
The red heart jumped and chased the girl.
It was a horrid sight.

Around and round they went, full sped,,
Tearing up Bob’s skin.
Four customers ran out the door
And never came back in.

They called the priest, who talked of sin,
And asked, “Have you confessed?”
They called the cops, but there was simply
No one to arrest.

It finally cost a clinic stay,
And laser surgery,
To take the dancer off Bob’s arm
And bring back harmony.

So that’s why, now, at Lou’s Tattoos,
Right next to the tip jar,
There sits a sign for all to see,
Explaining how things are.

For ink, designs, and labor costs,
We charge our standard fee.
Spiritual consultations
Come absolutely free.