Little plastic cowboys and Indians
from the North Pole dollar store –
some green, some blue, some butternut,

some already maimed – did a little
to help fill out the children’s stockings.
Not played with, they sit now

on the mantel, atop the little tin piano
and crowding round the tin player
forever raising his tin tankard, forever

ready for the little ragtime refrain
to be wound up again, to amuse us
here in another century still.

More on the poet,
Matthew Dulany:
My recent and forthcoming work includes stories in The Northern Virginia Review and RipRap, and poems in Kestrel, Noctua Review, Salamander, and Tribeca Poetry Review.