Here’s Hat on his unicycle juggling half a dozen eggs 
as he hits the tightrope; and his friend Pancake chuckles.

Pancake is a force of nature. The thrown bag of flour 
bursts, just as the spontaneous milk ejaculates

meeting an egg, and he comes into being: fryingpanned, 
flipped, with scoops of vanilla and a squirl of chocolate.

Hat comes cycling by, calm and cauliflower-eared, 
whistling a melody both dignified and jocular.

Every day a different hat: the broadbrim, the bowler, 
the yarmulke, the one like a detached shingle.

Whichever it is, Pancake loves it to death, watches 
as it fails to fall off, whatever the wobble and jiggle.

Any hat will get you by, but the one for the job 
gets you hired: the cap for the fool, trilby for the jackal.

When he accepts the assignment, Hat eats the contract. 
Pancake keeps a skeleton key for the shackles.

©   Peter Daniels 
First prize in the Ver Poets Competition 2010.